Warm halloumi, roasted butternut squash, red onion and peppers, all tossed in a harissa dressing and served on a bed of seasonal salad leaves. Serious foodie heaven!
Inspired by a meal out…
This recipe was inspired by a trip to The Sussex Produce Company in Steyning (a small town in West Sussex). I love The Sussex Produce Company – it’s a real Aladdin’s Cave for foodies: a sort of greengrocer-cum-grocer, packed with lovely local cheeses, pies, breads, beers and wines, as well as lots of delicious-looking, local, fresh produce.
At the back of the shop is a rustic, canteen-style café. The café has a great menu, full of interesting seasonal dishes, often made with local produce and definitely more adventurous than your average eatery. My parents came to visit recently and we took them to The Sussex Produce Company for lunch, and it was there I had this amazing warm salad.
Now, I don’t normally go for salads in restaurants, I generally find them incredibly disappointing and usually prefer to have hot food when I’m eating out, but this one sounded delicious… I love squash, harissa and halloumi… plus it was billed as a warm salad, so I took a gamble and I was not disappointed. The salad was packed with lots of warm halloumi, a mix of squashes, some red onion and puy lentils, tossed in a harissa dressing and served on a bed of seasonal salad leaves. Serious foodie heaven!
…given the Easy Peasy Foodie treatment
I’ve adapted the salad slightly to make it easier to do at home. I’ve left out the puy lentils (just to make things simpler and quicker), used only butternut squash (I didn’t want to have lots of leftover bits of various squashes hanging around) and added in some roasted red pepper (as I was eating the salad in the café, I felt this was the one ingredient that was missing – it goes so well with the other ingredients).
I’m so pleased with the result! Delicious, sweet, roasted vegetables contrast really well with the salty halloumi and the tingly heat of the harissa.
To further simplify the salad, I went for a ready prepared bag of mixed baby leaves from the supermarket. I love how the leaves gently wilt in the heat of the roasted vegetables and halloumi, yet still retain a little bit of crunch, and add another delicious complementary flavour.
Take care with harissa!
One word of caution: do be careful with the harissa paste, as it can vary enormously in strength. For this recipe I used Tesco Ingredients Harissa Paste, which is medium heat strength and I found 4 teaspoons to be the perfect amount to give a gentle heat to this dish, without overpowering the flavours. But if you are not sure about the strength of your harissa paste try less to start with and add more if you want to increase the heat.
What to serve with Butternut Squash, Harissa and Halloumi Salad?
I find this salad filling enough not to need anything extra, but if you are in need of some carbs, serve with crusty bread or you could cook up a small portion of puy or green lentils, as the original salad from The Sussex Produce Company had in it.
What to drink with Butternut Squash, Harissa and Halloumi Salad?
This warm salad pairs beautifully with crisp dry whites, like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Alternatively, it works well with Grenache-based rosés from the South of France or Spain.
Can you reheat this salad?
I don’t recommend reheating this salad, but it tastes great cold… This salad makes a great packed lunch or picnic recipe!
Put the cooked and cooled salad into an airtight container and place in the fridge, where it will keep for up to 3 days. (In an ideal world, try to keep the salad leaves separate or they will go a bit soggy.)
Can you freeze this salad?
No, I don’t recommend it.
If you like this recipe…
…you might also like:
Warm Butternut Squash, Harissa and Halloumi Salad
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 500 g butternut squash cut into thick strips (roughly half a large butternut squash)
- 2 red peppers cut into thick strips
- 2 red onions cut into wedges
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 4 teaspoons harissa paste (or to taste)
- 225 g halloumi cheese sliced
- 100 g baby salad leaves
- Preheat your oven to 220C / 200C fan / gas mark 7 / 425F. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a roasting tin. Tip the slices of squash, red pepper and red onion into the tray and turn in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper
- Roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make a simple marinade for the halloumi by combining 1 tablespoon of olive oil with 4 teaspoons of harissa and the juice of a lemon. Chop the halloumi into thick slices and marinate for 5 minutes.
- After the vegetables have been roasting for 10 minutes, add in the halloumi and tip the marinade over the vegetables and cheese. Turn everything in the marinade and then roast for a further 10 minutes.
- To serve, make a bed of baby salad leaves and arrange the halloumi cheese and vegetables over the top. Drizzle over the juices from the tray, and serve just as it is or with a glass of white wine and some crusty white bread.
- Not suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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