Grilled Halloumi + Peaches with Arugula, Jalapeños and a Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Grilled Halloumi + Peaches with Arugula, Jalapeños and a Honey Lemon Vinaigrette is a simple summer meal that's fresh, healthy and absolutely delicious! Salty Halloumi cheese turns crispy and melty on the grill, making it a perfect pair for the jammy, sweet charred peaches.  A hefty mound of arugula, spicy jalapeños and a sweet and tangy honey lemon vinaigrette bring it all together for an awesome gluten free, vegetarian salad that's great for dinner, lunch or even brunch! 

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I know I have a good recipe when my mouth won't stop watering as I edit the photos. I've been making grilled Halloumi + peaches all summer long, and it's about time I shared it with you.

What is Halloumi?

Halloumi is a Greek sheep's milk cheese that comes from the island of Cyprus and I've been pretty obsessed with it ever since our trip to Greece last summer. It has a salty, milky flavor and a firm texture that is known for squeaking between your teeth in the most delightful way. Halloumi has the unique ability to be grilled or pan fried while still holding its shape and not turning to goo or melting between the grates. It gets crispy on the edges, but stays soft in the middle and takes on a wonderful toasty flavor. It's really fun to eat!

Where can you buy Halloumi?

Halloumi can be tough to find depending on where you live and the time of year. None of my local supermarkets carry it, so I often stock up whenever I can track it down. Trader Joes carries it, but you can only find it in the summertime - which I learned the hard way. It's available at Whole Foods, as well as many cheese shops and other specialty markets. I've heard that Aldi sometimes carries it, although I've never seen it there myself.

What can I substitute for Halloumi?

If you can't find Halloumi, there are some other cheeses that will work in this recipe. Bread cheese is a well known grilling cheese, Queso Panela grills up well, as does Queso Fresco and Paneer. If you have any specialty European markets in your area, stop in to see if they carry something similar to Halloumi. There are many small European and Mediterranean countries that produce their own version of a grilling cheese. For anyone that lives locally in my area, the Brigantine Freshery carries a Turkish cheese called "gill cheese" that works wonderfully in this recipe. It's a delicious cheese and the shop owners are lovely people!

Two plates of grilled halloumi and peaches with arugula, jalapeños and honey lemon vinaigretteclose up of grilled halloumi and peaches with arugula, jalapeños and honey lemon vinaigrette with a forksuper close up overhead photo of grilled halloumi and peaches

Use the Best Peaches

Like so many seasonal dishes, this recipe works best when you use flavorful, in-season peaches that have a nice balance of sweetness and tang. Here in New Jersey, peaches are in season from about June to September, depending on the year, so this is definitely a summer recipe. I've made it with both white peaches and yellow peaches and it's delicious with both. You can also substitute nectarines or even apricots if they look better at the market.

How to Grill Peaches

They key to successfully grilling peaches is to make sure the grill grates are clean and well oiled. If the grill grates aren't well oiled, the peaches will stick and you won't achieve that beautiful charred crust. It's also important to toss the peaches with olive oil before grilling for extra non-stick insurance. You want the grill to be at a solid medium-high heat to give the peaches nice char without overcooking them. I also always grill peaches with the lid open so that they retain a semi-firm texture. If you close the grill and let them cook more they will turn soft and mushy.

How to Grill Halloumi

The key to grilling halloumi is also having the grill grates well oiled and coating the cheese with oil before grilling, just like with the peaches. You can let it get as much or as little char as you like. Personally, I like it when it gets extra crispy on the outside.

Serve with a Sweet + Spicy Arugula Salad

The arugula and jalapeños tossed with a honey lemon vinaigrette is inspired by the arugula salad at Steve and Cookie's, one of my favorite local restaurants. The hint of spice with the sweet dressing and peppery arugula makes the perfect base for the crispy Halloumi and charred peaches. It's SO good!

plated grilled halloumi and peaches with arugula, jalapeños and honey lemon vinaigrettegrilled halloumi and peaches with arugula, jalapeños and honey lemon vinaigrette

I know it's been a while since I've posted - it's been a crazy summer for us... for everyone, actually - but a summer filled with delicious food, nonetheless. I'm glad you're still here with me and I hope you give this recipe a try! More from me soon. <3

close up of grilled halloumi and peaches with arugula, jalapeños and honey lemon vinaigrette

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close up of grilled halloumi and peaches with arugula, jalapeños and honey lemon vinaigrette with a fork
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Grilled Halloumi + Peaches with Arugula, Jalapeños and a Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Grilled Halloumi + Peaches with Arugula, Jalapeños and a Honey Lemon Vinaigrette is a simple summer meal that's fresh, healthy and absolutely delicious! Salty Halloumi cheese turns crispy and melty on the grill, making it a perfect pair for the jammy, sweet charred peaches.  A hefty mound of arugula, spicy jalapeños and a sweet and tangy honey lemon vinaigrette bring it all together for an awesome gluten free, vegetarian salad that's great for dinner, lunch or even brunch! 
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 705kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice from about ½ medium lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for coating the Halloumi and peaches
  • 8 ounces Halloumi Cheese sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 2 large or 3-4 small peaches or nectarines quartered if large and halved if small (*see note)
  • 4 cups loosely packed arugula
  • ½ - 1 jalapeño pepper very thinly sliced (remove seeds or omit if sensitive to heat)

Instructions

  1. Make the vinaigrette by whisking together the honey, lemon juice, salt, pepper and ¼ cup olive oil until emulsified. Alternatively, you can place all ingredients in a jar and shake until combined. Set aside.
  2. Generously coat the Halloumi and peaches with olive oil on all sides, then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat a grill to high heat and make sure the grates are clean and very well oiled. This is extremely important in order to keep the peaches and cheese from sticking. 
  4. Place the halloumi slices and peaches (cut-side down) on the grill, then lower the heat to medium-high. Do not close the lid. 
  5. When the peaches have nice grill marks, flip them over to the other side to char a bit more, but be mindful not to cook them to death. You want them to still retain their texture.
  6. When the Halloumi starts to brown on the bottom, flip and cook on the other side. I personally like the Halloumi to get extra crispy, but you can cook it less if that's your preference. 
  7. Remove the peaches and Halloumi from the grill once they have nice grill marks.
  8. Toss the arugula and jalapeños with ¾ of the dressing, then transfer to plates. Arrange slices of Halloumi and peaches on top, then drizzle with the remaining dressing. Serve immediately. 

Notes

*Sometimes it's difficult to remove the pits from peaches. If this happens to you, just do your best to cut around the pits. They may not look pretty, but they will still taste delicious. 

Nutrition

Calories: 705kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 56g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 27g | Sodium: 1392mg | Potassium: 360mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 1477IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 1206mg | Iron: 1mg

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