This is a very summery couscous salad made super delicious with… HALOUMI. Because cheese if life and haloumi is so golden and salty and delicious. It’s one of my favourite cheeses because of how it is transformed in heat. It also takes this salad from side dish to lunch by adding a little extra protein to satisfy.
I love the giant pearls of Israeli couscous (check out this salad too!) but you could use a smaller pearl couscous in this salad too. The salty Haloumi brings out the flavour of the summery zucchini and tomatoes and the fresh herbs and lemon tie everything together. It’s a simple and nourishing salad that I keep coming back to so I thought it was probably time to share.
That said, it does stand alone as well and I have happily eaten it for lunch and dinner with nothing else on the side. The haloumi is a must though as it’s what gives you a little extra protein and also just, I mean, isn’t cheese great? In fact, you could totally double the haloumi in this recipe and have no regrets. Let’s be honest, some of it won’t even make it to the plate because anyone hanging around your kitchen will be grabbing at it as soon as it’s cooked. Including you.
If you can’t eat cheese due to having problems with lactose, don’t miss out on this super tasty salad… or haloumi. My very lactose intolerant brother has been using lactase tablets from LactoJoy and they work a treat! It makes going out to dinner with friends, or to someone’s house way less stressful for him as he doesn’t have to worry about what’s in the food. Win. (The kind people at LactoJoy sent me some to try).
1 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 cups pearl couscous
4 cups stock (or bone broth if not vegetarian)
250g cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 zucchini, cut into 2-3mm thick slices
200g haloumi, cut into 3mm thick slices
1 lemon, juice and zest
1/2 cup basil, shredded
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 birds eye chilli, finely sliced
1 Tbs olive oil to dress
salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large heavy based fry pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and once hot add the pearl couscous and the garlic. Toast the couscous for a minute or so and then add the stock. Bring to a simmer and then turn down the heat and allow it to continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes, until water is absorbed and the couscous is al dente.
Add tomatoes and half the parsley to the couscous, stir through. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
Wipe the pan clean and put back on medium high heat. If your pan is non stick, don’t add any oil, if it isn’t you can add just a touch. Once the pan is hot add the zucchini slices in a single layer, cook in batches. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side just until they have a little colour. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Wipe the pan again, put it back on the heat and once hot add your haloumi slices. Grill for a minute or two on each side until golden.
To serve, Toss the zucchini through the couscous along with the remaining parsley, lemon juice and lemon zest. Season with alt and black pepper then scatter with the haloumi and basil. Drizzle with olive oil and dig in.