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To Make An Unforgettable Salad, Add Haloumi Croutons

In her first cookbook, Peas, Love and Carrots, author Danielle Renov (of the popular blog of the same name) says that in Israel, where she lives, this salad is so popular that it can be found in just about every Kosher dairy restaurant. Now that I know this exists, I'm pretty upset that we here in America have willingly accepted half-assed Caesars as our unofficial national salad, when we could be eating a whole-assed salad like this one. Why settle for stale croutons when we could be having cubes of fried cheese?


Haloumi and Sweet Potato Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette

Reprinted from Peas, Love and Carrots: The Cookbook (2020) with permission from ArtScroll Mesorah Publications

For the dressing:

  • ½ cup dried blueberries
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp coarse black pepper
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • For the salad:

    • 2 large sweet potatoes (about 2.2 lb/1 kilo total), peeled and cut into ¼-inch-thick sticks
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • ½ tsp coarse black pepper
    • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
    • 3 cups baby spinach
    • 3 cups arugula
    • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
    • 1 (1lb/400g) block haloumi cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
    • Combine blueberries and vinegars in a bowl or jar. Using a spoon, smush blueberries a bit to help them open up and release their flavor into the vinegars. Add remaining dressing ingredients to the bowl or jar; whisk well or shake to combine. Refrigerate until 15 minutes before you want to dress your salad.


      To make the salad: Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add sweet potato sticks, salt, pepper and olive oil to prepared baking sheet; toss to combine. Spread sweet potatoes so they do not overlap. Bake for 45 minutes until sweet potato sticks are crispy.

      While sweet potatoes are baking, arrange baby spinach, arugula, and onion on a large, rimmed serving platter; set aside.

      Heat a dairy nonstick frying pan over medium high heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil and the cubed haloumi. (You don't want to overcrowd the pan, so if your pan is on the smaller side, you may want to do this in batches.) Cook haloumi for about 8 minutes, tossing cubes around every minute or so, so that all the sides can crisp up.


      Once cubes are crispy and hot, remove from pan and place on prepared salad. Add crispy sweet potatoes to the salad; drizzle blueberry vinaigrette all over! Serve right away and enjoy!

      Author's note: Not all haloumis are created equal. In the Middle East it's pretty easy to find good haloumi cheese. If you're not in the Middle East, however, I recommend you try a few different brands until you find one that you like!

      Tips & Tricks: This dressing is delicious and completely irresistible. Try swapping out the haloumi cheese for a simple grilled chicken for a fun meat twist!