Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with grilled halloumi cheese and a tangy sumac vinaigrette. Great for a quick and healthy lunch packed with protein, fiber, and nutrients!
Jordan often jokes that salad is my favorite food and that makes me basic. He may be partially right, I could eat (and often do eat) some variation of a salad every day of my life. Colder weather does not change this.
Salad is the thing I crave most when traveling, fresh greens, veggies, and a tangy vinaigrette – YUM! I'm used to getting my salad fix in daily because I want it, I crave it, and quite frankly… well… maybe, just maybe it is my favorite food and maybe that makes me basic, and maybe… I'm ok with that!
This chickpea salad with warm halloumi cheese is my answer to a cooler weather salad. Heartier ingredients, warm halloumi cheese, lots of salty olives, fresh herbs, ok… now I'm craving this again!
Let's get cooking!
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE:
- Chickpeas – Canned chickpeas work perfectly.
- Halloumi Cheese – A semihard cheese originating from Cyprus. It is traditionally made with a combination of goat and sheep milk but can also be found with cow's milk mixed in. Halloumi has a unique texture that remains firm when heated. You can grill it (we do all summer long) or place in a cast iron pan for a crisp, toasty edge, and warm delicious center.
- Olives – One could certainly omit if you don't like olives.
- Veggies – Tomatoes, cucumbers, arugula
- Fresh herbs – Parsley and mint
- Olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper
- Ground sumac – Made from the dried and ground berries of the wild sumac flour ground sumac has a slightly sour, tangy, and acidic flavor (think lemon or bright citrus). Sumac is typically found in the Mediterranean region. You can find it in the spice aisle at most grocery stores or purchase it online.
TOOLS YOU WILL USE:
QUICK MEDITERRANEAN CHICKPEA SALAD RECIPE TIPS:
- Start by making a homemade delicious dressing – Seriously simple, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, ground sumac (or in a pinch lemon zest would work), crushed garlic, salt, and pepper. – Homemade dressing takes 30 seconds to make and will upgrade the delicious factor of your salad!
- Toss the chickpeas in the dressing and let them hang out while you prepare the other ingredients
- Chop tomato, cucumber, fresh parsley and mint.
- Prepare your halloumi cheese, slice into thick pieces. Heat a cast-iron skillet (or an outdoor grill) and warm for several minutes until the outside is crisp. Depending on the brand of halloumi you buy (I purchased mine from a local farmers market) you may need to allow the cheese to rest for a bit before adding it to your salad.
- Toss all together. Pile a plate high with arugula, veggies, and fresh herbs. Top with chickpeas and olives. Drizzle with more dressing and finish with the warm slices of halloumi cheese.
- Dig in!!
NUTRITION NERD CORNER 🤓
Spice it up!
We all get into spice ruts, using the same dried spices over and over again because we know exactly how to use them. For me, that combo is garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. When it doubt that is my go-to spice formula.
However, spices are a great way to increase the diversity of nutrients in your diet and change up the flavor profile of the food you are eating.
I was introduced to sumac while traveling to Israel a few years ago, and quickly discovered that sumac is incredibly versatile and delicious! I add it to my hummus, I sprinkle on avocado toast or eggs, and sumac is the perfect accompaniment to a tangy salad dressing.
Stroll down the spice aisle with a bit more curiosity the next time you are in the market. Pick something up that is new to you and experiment with it in your kitchen!
MORE MEDITERRANEAN RECIPES YOU WILL LOVE:
DIETARY MODIFICATIONS FOR THIS RECIPE:
This recipe is gluten-free and vegetarian
- Vegan – Eliminate the cheese
- Low Fodmap – Chickpeas are considered a “medium fodmap” food so you would have to watch your portion depending on what phase of a low fodmap plan you are on.
I can’t wait for you to try this Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Warm Halloumi Cheese! When you make it, snap a photo and tag me on Instagram @abrapappa or use the hashtag #abraskitchen so I can feature your photo!
If you’ve tried this recipe, don’t forget to rate and leave a comment below. I love to hear from people who’ve made my recipes!
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad with Grilled Halloumi Cheese
- 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 small persian (or other seedless) cucumbers, chopped
- 1 cup chopped tomato
- 8 ounces halloumi cheese, cut into 8 slices
- 1/2 cup castelvetrano olives (or any olives you like)
- fresh parsley and fresh mint
- 6 cups arugula
- Make the dressing: In a small bowl or jar combine garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, sumac, and salt. Whisk or shake well to combine. Add olive oil and shake or whisk until fully combined. Set aside.
- In a small bowl toss the chickpeas with 1/2 of the dressing. Set aside.
- Heat a small cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Brush the slices of halloumi cheese with a little olive oil. Add to skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side or until crusty and brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Assemble salad: Pile arugula and fresh herbs on plates. Add chickpeas, cucumber, tomato, and olives. Drizzle with more dressing and finish with warm halloumi cheese. Eat immediately.
- Make the dressing ahead of time - it will keep in the fridge for 5-7 days just shake before each use (it also needs to come to room temperature)
- Toss the chickpeas in the dressing and keep in the fridge for quick salads throughout the week.
- Sear halloumi cheese in the moment - trust me you want it fresh and warm!!
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