I have had a block of halloumi hidden in my cheese drawer for a few months now. Yes, I hoard cheese. And yes, I am fully aware this is not normal behavior, but if you have ever had halloumi, you know it’s worth saving until an amazing recipe comes along. This salad is amazing! Amazing I tell you! I knew I was going to like it since most of my favorite ingredients are in it. There is no possible way to not enjoy halloumi. It’s hearty enough for a vegetarian main dish, light enough to serve as a side and endlessly adaptable. I definitely plan to make this again and again this summer. If you can’t find halloumi easily, you could easily substitute feta. You could add a million other things to bring in more flavor to the dish. I think capers, red pepper flakes, balsamic vinegar, spinach, chorizo (or soyrizo), the options are endless. I cooked my lentils in water this time (I was out of broth and bouillon cubes!) and I thought the flavor was still great, but cooking the lentils in vegetable broth would probably make it even better.
* – Halloumi, at least in my town can be difficult to find and expensive as hell. If you happen to live in around the Santa Barbara area, I highly recommend getting your halloumi at the European Deli & Market. It’s right where State Street turns in to Hollister. It’s a great little market and has tons of amazing Eastern European/Russia/Middle Eastern things that are usually hard to find in Santa Barbara. Best of all, they several brands of halloumi and it’s over 3 bucks cheaper than the ‘gourmet’ groceries stores in the area.