Looking for a vegetarian summer dinner? Then you’ll love this recipe for halloumi lentil salad! Tiny French lentils, grilled halloumi cheese, and plenty of vegetables are all tossed in a simple vinaigrette for a satisfying meal.
Do you love grilling in the summer as much as I do? I mean great smokey flavors, no heating up the kitchen (or at least less!), and easy clean up. What’s not to love?
I’ve been turning on the grill as often as possible these past few weeks, enjoying old favorites like my Grilled Sicilian Swordfish and my Grilled Greek Burgers and working on all sorts of great new recipes. Yum!
And that means it’s time for you to meet my new favorite summer salad!
How to make this
To make halloumi lentil salad, cook the lentils in water until tender. Then grill the vegetables and halloumi. Combine the lentils, grilled vegetables, and halloumi with a simple vinaigrette and mix to combine.
- Simmer the lentils until tender.
- Toss the cooked lentils with the vinaigrette.
- Chop up the grilling vegetables and grill them.
- Chop up the cucumbers, scallions, olives, and basil.
- Toss everything together.
- Grill the halloumi and eat.
It’s all very simple and very good! I do have a couple of tips.
1. Use a grilling basket. While you could grill larger pieces of vegetables or skewer them together, a grilling basket makes this recipe easy. I use a basket which fits completely in my grill so that I can shut the grill if I need to increase the heat on the items I’m cooking. I also stay away from nonstick surfaces since the grill gets too hot for that in my opinion. A simple mesh metal basket is all you need.
2. Eat the halloumi hot off the grill. Have everything else done and ready to go and everyone ready for dinner before you grill the halloumi. While halloumi is good when it cools, it is amazing when it’s hot.
There you have it! My latest lentil salad. If you love this lentil salad you may want to try my Cold French Lentil and Kohlrabi Salad or my Brown Rice and Lentil Salad over Arugula. They are both great salads which can be used as vegetarian main courses or as side dishes.
If you try my recipe for Grilled Halloumi Lentil Salad, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Grilling, Annemarie
Grilled Halloumi and French Lentil Salad
Halloumi Lentil Salad
- 1 cup French lentils
- 3-4 cups vegetables, cut into bite sized pieces
- 8 oz halloumi cheese, cut into wide slices about 1/2 inch thick
- 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
- 1 small cucumber, diced
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 1/4 cup sliced fresh basil
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced or grated with a microplane
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
- Heat the grill on high.
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the lentils and adjust the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are firm but tender.
- Drain the lentils and put them in a bowl.
- Whisk together all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a cup. Pour the dressing over the warm lentils and mix.
- Once the grill is hot, begin cooking the vegetables.
- Toss the vegetables with a little olive oil and kosher salt. Add them to the grilling basket and grill until browned and cooked through. The time will depend on the vegetables you choose. Asparagus + bell peppers takes about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the grilled vegetables to the bowl with the lentils.
- Add the olives, cucumber, scallions, and basil to the bowl. Toss together the salad.
- Put the halloumi on the grill. Watch it carefully. Grill for 3-4 minutes per side. You will want good grill marks and for the cheese to look just a little bit softened from the heat.
- Serve the lentil salad with the warm halloumi right from the grill.
- French lentils: French lentils are a greenish colored lentil which keeps its shape and stays firm when cooking. They are also called green lentils, French green lentils, or Puy lentils (if they are grown in the Puy region of France).
- Halloumi: Make sure you buy halloumi and not generic 'grilling cheese' for the recipe. If you can only find grilling cheese, test a piece of the cheese on grill and see if it holds its shape. If it does not, switch to either a fry pan or grilling pan.
- Vegetables: For the photos I used one bunch of asparagus cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths and one red bell pepper cut into slices. Any 3-4 cups of vegetables which you like on the grill or roasted will also work. Other options include broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, corn, and green beans. I would recommend picking two-three types and mixing up the colors.
- Herbs: While I do recommend using the basil, you can add in more herbs if you wish. Fresh parsley, thyme, mint, marjoram, or oregano would make good additions.
- Grilling Basket: A grilling basket is essential for grilling the chopped vegetables.