Marinated Carrot + Halloumi Salad

20130605-DSC_9436-3A few weeks back, Jesse and I spent 10 days in London, England, celebrating our recent engagement. We had a truly magical time! Lots of laugh, so many neat sights and lots of delicious food! Oh, the food! :) One of the things that really stood out to me in England was how vegetarian + vegan friendly all of the restaurants were. All of the menus had multiple veggie-options. Since I am used to only one or two options per menu, I found deciding on a meal in England really difficult! It was a GREAT problem to have! My biggest conundrum was deciding between asparagus-pea ravioli with mint or sun-dried tomato ricotta cannelloni at Jamie Oliver’s restaurant – Jaime’s Kitchen in Covent Garden. I went with the ravioli…twas a GREAT choice! Yum!

Halloumi seemed to be a very popular ingredient on many of the menus in England. Halloumi is a semi-hard, unripened, brined cheese often used in Middle Eastern cuisine. It has a high melting point which makes it great for grilling and pan-frying. It retains its shape nicely and has a wonderful texture. One of my favourite meals in London was the vegetarian fish and chips that I enjoyed at a pub near Trafalgar Square. The “fish” was beer-battered halloumi cheese. It was served with tartar sauce, mushy peas and proper pub-style chips. I was in heaven!

When we got home, I was on a mission to find some halloumi cheese and thankfully found some at our neighbourhood grocery store. Since halloumi cheese is quite rich and relatively salty, I wanted to use it with really fresh, light ingredients. I paired the pan-fried halloumi with fresh spring greens with orange-cumin marinated sliced carrots. The citrus in the dressing cut the richness of the cheese. And the sweetness of the honey paired up perfectly with the saltiness of the halloumi. Jesse and I enjoyed this salad for lunch recently and were smitten! It’s the perfect salad for a light lunch.

To make this salad vegan, I suggest pan-frying a few slices of tofu with some cumin seeds. Crispy tofu would be a great substitute for the halloumi cheese. Additionally, you can grill the halloumi cheese on your BBQ. Just brush the oil onto the grill and cook the halloumi about 2 minutes on each side.

Marinated Carrot + Halloumi Salad

Yield: 4 servings


  • 12 slices of halloumi cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of canola oil, divided
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced into thin strips (using a vegetable peeler)
  • 1/4 cup of pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon of honey or agave
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • spring greens mix


  1. In a small jar, combine the orange juice, lemon juice, honey (or agave), ground cumin, ground coriander, 1 tablespoon of canola and salt + pepper. Shake well to combine. Toss dressing with the shredded carrots. Set aside. Allow carrots to marinate in dressing for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Heat remaining tablespoon of canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place slices of halloumi cheese in skillet and allow them to golden (about 4 minutes for the first side and 2 for the second). Right after flipping the cheese, sprinkle halloumi with cumin seeds. Allow the seeds to toast for about 2 minutes. Remove cheese from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  3. Place mixed greens onto 4 salad plates. Top greens with orange-cumin marinated carrot slices. Place 3 slices of halloumi cheese on top of each salad. Garnish with pepitas. Note: if any dressing remaining in bowl, drizzle over salad.


Source: loosely adapted from Canadian Living - July 2013


    • thefigtree says

      Awe, thank you! We are very excited for our engagement and upcoming wedding! Jaime’s Italian in Covent Garden was wonderful. I’m not too sure where he has other restaurants, but that one was very nice! The menu was loaded with delicious options!

    • thefigtree says

      Thanks! It was extra tasty! I surprised Jesse by making this for lunch one day. We both loved it. The marinated carrots were really good on sandwiches the next day too.

  1. says

    Your meals sound so good! I’ve been dying to make something with halloumi cheese for a while, but even though I can usually find it at the grocery store, I can never justify the price. This summer I’m going to get past that though because I know it’s worth it!

    • thefigtree says

      Definitely buy some Halloumi if you can. Superstore/Loblaws sells it for $5.00. It’s soooo good on the grill. One brick tends to make a fair amount of skewers. I like grilling the halloumi with some summer veggies. I brush with olive oil and sprinkle on some fresh herbs. Perfect for BBQ season.

  2. says

    Love this dish and your bright happy photos!
    Your trip to England sounds amazing – please do travel pics post ;)))

    Wishing I still ate cheese…. I remember having some fried cheese in Prague years ago…. it was amazing and I’m guessing this would also be out of this world…
    Maybe I could make it for my husband though.. ;)
    Oh my goodness, and Big Congratulations on your engagement!!!!! ;)
    xoxo Ella

    • thefigtree says

      I will definitely have to post travel pics soon! I have to go through all of my pictures first. I have so many yummy meals to talk about too!

      Awe, thank you! We are very excited for our wedding in October. The planning has been fun so far. Hope it stays that way! *haha*

  3. says

    I usually think of English food as being bland and boring, but it sounds like you had some really creative and interesting meals! I’ve never heard of beer battered halloumi! I love halloumi too, but you’re right – it can be a bit rich so pairing it with a light salad is the perfect way to eat it.

    • thefigtree says

      It’s true! I always heard British food is bland and uninventive. But I found the complete opposite to be true! It was a vegetarian’s dream in London! The beer battered halloumi “fish” was delicious! I need to try and re-create it at some point. Yum!

    • thefigtree says

      Thank you for the lovely comment :) The marinated carrots make this salad something special. So yummy!

  4. Mal says

    I’ve just found your blog, and am enjoying it (love looking at new recipe ideas). Halloumi is great, but it’s worth checking to see that it’s mainly sheep milk based, if it’s not from Cyprus. We get Cypriot ones in supermarkets here. Glad you enjoyed your trip to London. The British food reputation for blandness was meant to be based on two things, first the very limited ingredients available during and after the two world wars, and traditionally before that a pride in the quality of the food, which was not meant to need much extra; it’s not connected with a dislike of spices, as dishes from India have been popular since the time of the Raj. (great for vegetarian foods, too)

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