This hearty and comforting roast vegetable salad with halloumi has assorted salad greens, roast vegetables that have been flavoured with dukkah, an Egyptian nut and spice blend. Finally, it’s topped with pan fried halloumi cheese, a tangy garlic yoghurt dressing and almonds.
Though I have classified it as a salad, this roast vegetable salad with halloumi is by no means a side salad. This salad can easily be the centrepiece of a meal due to its vibrant colours and flavourful components. I have served it as a main dish for brunch, and I make it often for our weeknight dinner meals. The recipe inspiration for this salad is actually HelloFresh - I got it as one of their meals and loved it so much that I had to come up with a version of my own. It may look like the salad has a lot of components, but it will come together in less than an hour, and can also be made ahead of time. Read on ahead to find out about ingredient substitutions for this roast vegetable salad with halloumi, as well as tips on making it ahead of time.
Components of the roast vegetable salad, along with potential substitutions:
- Roasted Vegetables: The main component of this salad are the roasted vegetables. The vegetables I have used in the recipe are sweet potato, beetroot, zucchini and onions. But I have used asparagus, coloured capsicums / bell peppers and also butternut squash. Add or subtract based on your personal preference, just adjust the baking time for each vegetable accordingly. I am planning to share a detailed guide on roasting vegetables soon, so keep an eye on that.
- Halloumi: Halloumi or haloumi is an unripened cheese traditionally made from goat’s and sheep’s milk, or a mixture of the two. It has a high melting point making it ideal for grilling or frying, as it maintains its shape when heated. It’s got a tangy and salty flavour, and though it can be eaten raw, it’s best consumed after frying or grilling when it becomes crisp on the outside, and soft on the inside. It is associated with the island of Cyprus, where it has been produced for many centuries, but has now gained popularity in the entire world with vegetarians and meat lovers both. In case halloumi isn’t available it can be substituted with Indian Cottage Cheese (Paneer) or Queso Blanco. The flavour isn't the same, but both cheeses have a high melting point, and can be grilled or fried. Feta cheese is also an option - it won't have the same structural integrity but the salty tangy flavour is similar.
- Dukkah: Dukkah is an Egyptian and Middle-Eastern condiment consisting of a mixture of herbs, spices and nuts. There are many different combinations of dukkah available, and you can use the one you prefer. I use a dukkah blend from the supermarket (Table of Plenty is the brand I use), and you should be able to find one as well at any Middle Eastern or speciality store. Otherwise you can make your own - here’s a recipe shared by my friend Fatima from Chef on Rhine.
- Garlic Yoghurt Dressing: The dressing for this salad is super simple - just fried garlic mixed with yoghurt, salt and pepper. I usually make double the quantity and keep some on the side in case someone wants to drizzle more; and they always want more!
- Salad Greens: An assortment of salad greens can be used for this salad. The one I regularly use is a baby spinach and rocket (arugula) mix that is available at the supermarket. Baby spinach and rocket (arugula) can be used on their own as well. Other options include watercress, mesclun lettuce (mixed baby lettuce), Japanese greens or mizuna, oakleaf lettuce and baby gem lettuce. I would avoid iceberg as it would be too light in flavour compared to the roast vegetables.
- Almonds: The almonds are added as the final garnish on the salad for both flavour and crunch. Other nuts like walnuts can be substituted. For added flavour, the nuts can also be roasted.
Can the roast vegetable salad with halloumi be made ahead of time?
Yes, it can! Other than the final assembly, all of the components of the salad can be made in advance making this an excellent option for a brunch or a dinner party. Roast the vegetables, make the garlic yoghurt dressing, and pan fry the halloumi. Keep them all in separate containers in the fridge. Take the roasted vegetables and halloumi out of the fridge about 30 minutes - 1 hour before just so that they can come to room temperature. If you prefer, the halloumi can be pan fried for a few seconds to warm it up, and make it just a little melted from inside, but it will still taste good at room temperature. Few minutes before serving, toss the salad greens and assemble the salad.
If you are looking for other vegetarian recipes, check out the following:
- Taheri (Aloo chawal) – Rice and Potato Pilaf
- Kaali daal or khari masoor ki daal – Black Gram Lentils
- Aloo Matar Sabzi (Potato with Peas Curry)
- Aloo Hari Piyaaz (Potato curry with Spring Onions)
- Karhi or Pakora Karhi
- Moong Masoor Dal (Red and Yellow Lentil Curry)
Also, if you are looking for a detailed guide on roasting vegetables, check this post on the blog!
Would love it if you could try out and rate the recipe, and let me know how it was in the comments below!
Roast Vegetable Salad with Halloumi
For the vegetables (see note 1 for substitutions)
- 4 medium / 500g sweet potatoes
- 2 medium zucchini
- 2 medium beetroot
- 2 medium onions preferably red onions, but white or yellow can also be used
- 6 tablespoons / 60g almonds sliced
- ¼ cup / 50g dukkah
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt adjust to taste
- 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
For the garlic yoghurt dressing and haloumi:
- 2 tablespoon olive oil divided
- 4 garlic cloves sliced
- 200 grams Greek yoghurt
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 250 grams halloumi see note 2 for substitutions
To assemble the salad:
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 120 grams assorted salad greens see note 3 for substitutions
For the vegetables:
Wash all the vegetables (sweet potatoes, beetroot, zucchini and onions). The sweet potatoes and beetroot don’t need to be peeled, but I prefer peeling them.
Preheat the oven to 420°F / 220°C (200°C fan-forced).
Cut the sweet potato into 2 cm chunks. Cut the zucchini in half, and then slice into 2 cm half moons. Cut the beetroot into 1.5 cm chunks. Cut the red onions into 2 cm wedges - don’t separate the slices. It’s important to cut all the vegetables in a similar size so they cook evenly.
Place the sweet potatoes and beetroot on a medium tray, and the zucchini and onions on another small tray. Drizzle all the vegetables with olive oil, and season with salt and black pepper. Also sprinkle the dukkah evenly across all the vegetables. The baking tray can be lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat for less mess, and easier clean up later on.
Toss to coat the seasoning and dukkah, spread out in an even layer, and roast in the oven till roasted from the outside and soft from inside. The onions and zucchini will take about 20 - 25 minutes, whereas the sweet potatoes and beetroot will take about 25 - 35 minutes. To check if the sweet potato and beetroot are done, just pierce with a fork. If it pierces through they are cooked. Set the vegetables aside.
All the vegetables can be kept on the same tray, but the onion and zucchini need to be taken out earlier, and the sweet potato and beetroot later. Also make sure that the vegetables are spread out in a single layer, else they won’t roast properly.
For the garlic yoghurt dressing and halloumi:
Cut the halloumi into 1 cm thick slices, and place in a small bowl of cold water. Leave to soak for about 15 minutes - this step will reduce the saltiness in the haloumi.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium frying pan. Add the sliced garlic and fry for 1 - 2 minutes till fragrant and golden brown. Transfer to a small bowl, and add the yoghurt along with salt and black pepper. Stir to combine, and set aside.
Drain the halloumi and pat dry with a paper towel. In the same frying pan that was used for the garlic, add another tablespoon of oil.
Add the halloumi and pan fry for about 2 minutes each side, until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
To assemble the salad:
In a large bowl, add the salad greens. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Toss to combine.
Top with the roasted vegetables and pan fried halloumi.
Drizzle over the garlic yoghurt dressing, and then finally garnish with sliced almonds.
Note 1 - Depending on what is available and personal preference, other vegetables can be substituted in this salad. Other vegetables to use or substitute are bell peppers / capsicum (red, green and yellow), broccoli, butternut squash or pumpkin. Regular potatoes can also be used instead of sweet potatoes. Just make sure to not have too many vegetables that are on the sweet side together such as sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and beetroot.
Note 2 - In case halloumi isn’t available it can be substituted with Indian Cottage Cheese (Paneer) or Queso Blanco. The flavour isn't the same, but both cheeses have a high melting point, and can be grilled or fried. Feta cheese is also an option - it won't have the same structural integrity but the salty tangy flavour is similar.
Note 3 - An assortment of salad greens can be used for this salad. The one I regularly use is a baby spinach and rocket (arugula) mix that is available at the supermarket. Baby spinach and rocket (arugula) can be used on their own as well. Other options include watercress, mesclun lettuce (mixed baby lettuce), Japanese greens or mizuna, oakleaf lettuce and baby gem lettuce. I would avoid iceberg as it would be too light in flavour compared to the roast vegetables.