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This salad was inspired by this French cafe I love to grab coffee and lunch at, makes a great standalone lunch or dinner, and was well-received at a holiday potluck.

Glad to see my salad potluck touch didn’t disappear with the hemisphere jump. 🙂

If you’ve never had it before, Haloumi Cheese is a neat one. It’s firm, kinda salty, and doesn’t melt all the way down when you heat it – making it perfect to make crunchy little croutons out of. If you can’t find it, Parmesan crisps would be great or even that salty softer white cheese (gradana padano?).

Vegetarian, primal, almost keto

Winter Salad with Haloumi Croutons

4 cups mixed lettuce (I used baby chard and red leaf)

4 clementines

1/4 – 1/3 cup pomegranate arils

200g Haloumi Cheese

1/4 cup pistachio dust

1/4 cup olive oil

2 Tbsp. zaatar

2 tsp. Pomegranate molasses

1 Tbsp. Lemon juice

1 Tbsp. Grainy mustard (I always use Maille)

Salt & pepper

First, make your Croutons by cutting the Haloumi into thin slices and frying over medium/medium-high in a Tablespoon or two of ghee or other fat of your choice until golden brown and crispy on both sides. Your cheese will melt a bit, but won’t melt enough to stick to the pan even if your pan is crappy like mine. I ended up flipping mine with chopsticks and a spatula and then cutting the bits that had fused together back into chunks.

To make the dressing: in a small bowl, whisk together the oil, zaatar, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, mustard, salt & pepper. Set aside until it is time to serve.

To assemble the salad: combine the lettuce and pomegranate arils in a large bowl. Peel and segment the clementines and add (you may want to cut the segments in half and de-seed first). Toss to combine. Top with the croutons and pistachio dust.

Drizzle the dressing over top and serve.

Serves 6-8 as a potluck side