Hearty ‘Halloumi’ Salad

If you ask us, salads should have big, punchy flavours and a robust, satisfying bite; they should please your palate and your stomach in equal measure. This salad does both of those things perfectly. Rustle it up in warmer months, serve with a cold glass of good white wine, and you will not be disappointed.

Extract credit to: BOSH! Meat: Over 100 Outrageously tasty recipes by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby (HQ, HarperCollins). RRP £22.00.
Food photography: Lizzie Mayson

Gluten free
Wheat free

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Preparation time

15 min

Cook time

45 min

Total time





  • mains
  • lunches
  • sides-light-meals-and-salads




For the ‘halloumi’

  • 1 x 325g/11.5 oz block firm tofu
  • 3 lemons
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp dried mint
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • Sea salt

For the salad 

  • 2 red onions
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 vegetable stock pots (use gluten-free if needed)
  • 600ml/2½ cups boiling water
  • 2 red peppers
  • 250g/9 oz cherry tomatoes
  • 200g/1 cup pearl barley (use a gluten-free grain eg quinoa if needed)
  • Handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 1 bag of mixed leaves (about 150g/5 oz)
  • 1 lemon
  • Sea salt


Prepare the ‘halloumi’

  1. Press the tofu to drain off any liquid.
  2. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice into a container, catching any pips in your free hand.
  3. Add the olive oil, nutritional yeast, dried mint, garlic powder and a pinch of salt and stir to form a smooth paste.
  4. Cut the tofu into 8 strips.
  5. Put the tofu strips in the container and coat in the marinade.
  6. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 after 2 hours’ marinating time.

Bake the ‘halloumi’

  1. Remove the ‘halloumi’ from the marinade and bake it in the oven on the lined baking sheet for 25 minutes.

While the ‘halloumi’ is baking, make the salad

  1. Peel the red onions and slice them thickly.
  2. Place a large saucepan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil.
  3. Once warm, add the onion slices and a pinch of salt, mix well and cook for about 10 minutes until the onion softens.
  4. Mix the vegetable stock pots with the boiling water in a heatproof jug.
  5. Trim, halve and core the red peppers, cut into small cubes and halve the tomatoes.
  6. Add the peppers to the onions and cook for another 5 minutes before adding the pearl barley and hot vegetable stock.
  7. Cook the pearl barley according to the packet instructions until the barley has absorbed all the water and becomes soft.

Griddle the ‘halloumi’

  1. Warm a griddle pan over a medium-high heat, lay the marinated tofu strips on the pan and sear for 2 minutes on each side to create lovely dark griddle lines.
  2. Transfer the ‘halloumi’ to a plate and season with a good pinch of salt.

Build the salad and serve

  1. Remove the pearl barley from the heat, slice the mint leaves and mix through the pearl barley, along with the mixed leaves and tomatoes.
  2. Halve the lemon and squeeze in the juice from both halves, catching any pips in your free hand.
  3. Spoon the salad onto the bottom of a large serving plate and top with the ‘halloumi’ slices.

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