RECIPES:
May 23, 2022

Crispy Halloumi Kale Salad with Garlic Tahini Dressing

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
This kale salad topped with crispy, fried halloumi cheese is a summer favorite!

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This kale salad is inspired by Mediterranean dishes like tabbouleh and crispy halloumi. The salad is topped with salty fried pieces of halloumi, chickpeas, parsley, green onion and avocados in a creamy garlic and tahini dressing. Because kale is a tougher green, this salad can be made in advance without getting soggy. This also makes it a great option for meal prepping. Be sure to massage the dressing into the kale before serving. This helps to tenderize the kale and makes it much more enjoyable. 

Crispy Halloumi Kale Salad with Garlic Tahini Dressing

diced kale for Crispy Halloumi Kale Salad

Key Ingredients in This Recipe 

  • Tahini – The base of this salad dressing is tahini mixed with olive oil and lemon juice. Tahini is made from blended/ground hulled sesame seeds and has a creamy texture and nutty flavor. 
  • Halloumi – This salty, “squeaky” cheese from Cyprus is pan-fried until a crispy exterior forms. The cheese can be found at Greek markets, natural foods, specialty foods stores, and some supermarkets like Whole Foods. If you can’t find halloumi cheese you can substitute paneer which has a similar texture. 
  • Kale – I prefer to use Tuscan kale (also called Lacinato or Dinosaur Kale) in this salad. While it’s deeper in color it’s also slightly more tender than curly kale. While curly kale can also be used, I prefer the texture of Tuscan kale. I remove the tough ribs from the leaves and finely chop them. The dressing is massaged into the kale to help tenderize it. 
  • Chickpeas – Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, add texture and protein to this salad while keeping it vegetarian. I use a can of rinsed and drained chickpeas to cut down on prep time though 1½ cups of cooked chickpeas can be used in place of the canned ones.  

How to Make Crispy Halloumi Salad

garlic dress for Crispy Halloumi Kale Salad
Step 1: Make the garlic tahini dressing.

In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and 3 tablespoons of water until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to use.

fried halloumi for Crispy Halloumi Kale Salad
Step 2: Fry the halloumi. 

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat through. Add the cheese to the pan and cook until the cheese is golden brown, about 1 minute.

fried cheese
Step 3: Flip and continue to fry the cheese.

Flip the pieces and repeat on the other side, cooking for about an additional 1 minute. Remove to a plate then tear into pieces and set aside.

kale with dress for Crispy Halloumi Kale Salad
Step 4: Massage kale.  

Add the kale to a large salad bowl or mixing bowl and massage the dressing into the kale.

assembled ingredients for Crispy Halloumi Kale Salad
Step 5: Assemble salad and serve. 

Add the chickpeas, parsley, green onion and avocado, tossing to combine. Top with the crispy halloumi and serve.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe 

Serving suggestions 

Serve this kale salad on its own for a vegetarian entrée or serve it alongside a protein like roasted chicken or seared steak

Swaps and Additions 
  • Also, customize this salad by adding additional nuts and seeds like sunflower seeds.
  • Swap Tuscan kale for curly kale or a bag of pre-cut kale. I prefer to cut the kale myself since pre-cut bags often include tough stems. 
  • The garlic tahini dressing can be swapped with a simple vinaigrette. 
  • Then, add grains like bulgur, quinoa or farro to turn this salad into a grain bowl for a heartier meal. 
served Crispy Halloumi Kale Salad

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this kale salad recipe, I recommend checking out these:

salad on a serving platter

Crispy Halloumi Kale Salad with Garlic Tahini Dressing

Print Pin
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the garlic tahini:

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

For the kale salad:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 ounces Halloumi cheese, cut into ½” slices
  • 1 large bunch Tuscan kale, ribs removed and shredded
  • 1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 medium green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium Hass avocado, pitted peeled and diced

Instructions:

For the garlic tahini:

  • In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and 3 tablespoons of water until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside until ready to use.

For the kale salad:

  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and heat through. Add the cheese to the pan and cook until the cheese is golden brown, about 1 minute.
  • Flip the pieces and repeat on the other side, cooking for about an additional 1 minute. Remove to a plate then tear into pieces and set aside.
  • Add the kale to a large salad bowl or mixing bowl and massage the dressing into the kale.
  • Add the chickpeas, parsley, green onion and avocado, tossing to combine. Top with the crispy halloumi and serve.

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