Warm halloumi salad with chickpea & spinach

Warm halloumi & chickpea salad

An easy vegetarian recipe for a meat free Monday (or Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…)

I love chickpeas. They add a really nice flavour and texture to all kinds of recipes, are good for you and I just like the name. “Chickpea”. It’s fun to say.

I also love halloumi. Just look at it piled on top of the salad there. All golden brown crispiness and delightful, salty rubberiness. It’s impossible to resist eating way more than the serving recommendation when you see it frying away in the pan. It keeps for ages so it’s handy to have in the fridge. You can use it to make sides at BBQs and all kinds of stuff. It’s great.

As ever, this isn’t my recipe, I got it from the BBC Goodfood website (link below), but I’ve made it so many times and changed one important ingredient (the spice) so I feel a certain ownership of the recipe. It’s a really quick, healthy meal for grown-ups after work. Although you could add less spice and then it would be suitable for younger members of the family too.

They say that the average person makes about 30 recipes on a regular basis – this is definitely one of my regulars and it’s one that can be eaten all year round.

Warm halloumi salad, with spiced chickpea, pepper and spinach
(Serves 2)

Cooking warm halloumi salad

Colourful spinach and chickpea salad, with halloumi frying in the background

Ingredients

  • 250 g block of halloumi – drained (the recipe states half a block of halloumi, but it’s easy to use a whole one if you are serving two greedy people!)
  • 400 ml can of chickpeas
  • 2 large red peppers from a jar, sliced into strips
  • 200g grams of baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp ginger – grated / finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (my modification)
  • A drizzle of honey (another modification, for if you are feeling extra cheeky)

Method

  • Heat the oil in a large pan (or wok in my case) and stir fry the ginger and cayenne pepper for 1-2 minutes
  • Stir in the chickpeas to coat them, then add in the spinach and peppers. Season, then cover and cook through until the spinach is just wilted
  • While the spinach is wilting, heat a non-stick frying pan to medium-hot (no need for oil) and fry the halloumi until golden brown on each side
  • Pour the lemon juice all over the salad, then divide between two plates and add the required amount of halloumi on top
  • If you are the kind of person who likes sweet and salty flavours combined, you can add a wee drizzle of honey on top
  • Serve and enjoy!

Cayenne pepper can have quite a kick, so if you haven’t had it before, it might be worth adding slightly less than half a teaspoon and checking the taste to make sure you are happy with it.

If you are looking for easy midweek recipes, why not check out pistachio and honey-mustard crusted salmon?

The original recipe can be found here. Happy meat free Monday!

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