Cherry Tomato and Halloumi Salad with Fresh Herbs

I may have purchased one too many cherry tomatoes to consume in a week or two, or however long it takes for a tomato to spoil. Last week, I walked 20 blocks down a steep hill, into the busiest part of Seattle during lunch hour, to Whole Foods to purchase two bunches of broccoli rabe for some recipes I am creating. I rarely ever shop there, unless I'm so famished from an afternoon of light browsing at West Elm.

It's dangerous. As in, the kid in the very expensive candy store no self-control kind of dangerous. I shouldn't have gone hungry. Rather, I shouldn't have burned so many calories getting there. The hot food bar is delicious and tempting with mashed potatoes and mac and cheese calling my name. The produce is beautifully presented, as I'm sure they have their employees individually polishing each tomato in the back room before it's displayed. I bought 3 pints of tomatoes cause I just couldn't decide on one variety. I bought Sebastian a full-fat Greek yogurt, cause if he could live on one thing alone, it would be that. I spent $25 on hot food from the food bar, because I always underestimate the amount of food I load into the to-go container. And, I almost paid $20 for two bars of orange-ginger handmade soap. Is that a lot to pay for handmade soap? I left the store a few hours later (how did I spend two hours at Whole Foods?) confusedly spewing the words gluten-free, artisan, raw and 100% organic in a hypnotic manner the whole walk home, until I broke the trance consuming a whole bag of all-dressed chips and a few PBR's in a sweaty mess on my back porch.

After my enthusiastic purchase of many tomatoes,  I decided to snack on the first pint while standing at my new kitchen island with some sliced aged cheddar and a 1/2 empty bottle of rose. Alright fine, there were chips as well. I used the second pint of cherry tomatoes in this delicious seared halloumi salad with fresh herbs, and the third is still sitting on the counter growing a colony of fruit flies. Send help.

The halloumi and cherry tomato salad was by far the best use. I choose a variety of tomatoes that were on the sweeter side, less acidic. I didn't want too many flavors to over complicate things, so I tossed them in a light olive oil with a bit of salt and pepper and let them rest for 10 minutes or so, to allow the juices to form. I preheat a pan with some butter and then added the halloumi while it was sizzling. I let the halloumi fry on each side until a nice golden color. I then plated the halloumi with the fresh tomatoes and their juice and topped with some fresh herbs from the garden. The salad was so simple - only a handful of ingredients - which is often my favorite kind. I love to celebrate and appreciate produce as is when it's in its freshest form - with a healthy serving of cheese, of course.

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serves 4

prep time: 5 minutes

cooking time: 5 minutes

1 pint of cherry tomatoes halved

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp Maldon salt

Fresh cracked pepper

9 oz halloumi, sliced into triangles

1 tbsp butter

fresh herbs:

tarragon, basil, thyme, mint

In a bowl, toss the cherry tomatoes with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Set to the side.

In a large frying pan, heat the butter on low-medium heat. Once it begins to sizzle, add the halloumi slices. Fry for 2 -3 minutes on each side until light brown.

Place the halloumi into individual serving bowls for onto a large plate. Pour the tomatoes on top and garnish with any one or combination of suggested herbs. Can also be served with fresh greens - arugula, lettuce etc.