Welcome the season of leisurely brunches, rosé-filled picnics, and green vegetables galore with this vibrant salad that almost shouts, “Hello, spring!” This is the time of year when simplicity reins supreme. Here, golden, briny planks of Halloumi and blistered snap peas find a home in a tangle of pea sprouts, mint, and dill. The whole dish is adorned with a zingy lemon dressing for a plateful of sheer bliss. This salad would be equally lovely with other seasonal vegetables, like asparagus, baby artichokes, and even fava beans. Choose one, or mix and match a few, depending on what’s available.
Can’t find Halloumi? Look for grilling cheese or Finnish "bread cheese" (juustoleipä), which have the same squeaky-yet-melty quality as Halloumi, but are generally made of cow’s milk as opposed to the traditional sheep and goat’s milk blend. Or try manouri or feta—these cheeses are stronger and brinier in flavor than Halloumi, so reduce the quantity from 12 to 8 ounces if using them. —Asha Loupy
2 to 4
lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
2 to 3 tablespoons
freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
freshly ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Halloumi cheese, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick planks
fresh mint leaves
fresh dill fronds, torn into bite-size pieces
Edible flowers, for garnish (optional)
In This Recipe
In a medium bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, ¼ teaspoon salt, and the black pepper. Slowly whisk in 4 tablespoons of olive oil until emulsified and set aside.
Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and continue to heat for another 30 seconds (heating the pan before adding the oil helps prevent the oil from smoking and burning). Add the snap peas and remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt, spreading the pods out in a single layer. Let them cook, undisturbed, until they start to blister and turn deep golden in spots, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir the blistered snap peas, then allow them to cook for another 30 seconds. Using tongs, transfer the snap peas to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the Halloumi slices in a single layer. Cook the Halloumi until golden brown on both sides, 1½ to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the same plate with the snap peas.
In a large bowl, toss the pea sprouts, mint, and dill with half of the dressing. Arrange the salad, snap peas, and Halloumi on a serving platter, nestling the cheese and snap peas among the sprouts and herbs. Spoon the remaining dressing over the caramelized planks of Halloumi and sprinkle with edible flowers, if using. Serve immediately.