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Hot Honey Grilled Halloumi and Tomato Salad

Putting the heat in the sweet.

Grilled halloumi and tomatoes on a plate topped with crispy pepperoni strips and basil and drizzled with hot honey.

If you thought all summertime salads needed to be light, fresh, and ethereal, think again. Grilled halloumi is layered with juicy tomato, drizzled with hot honey, and topped with crispy pepperoni for a sizzling summer salad packed with bold, punchy flavor.

If you’ve never tried grilled halloumi, I promise it’s one of the most delicious things you’ll eat all summer. The smoky char of the grill and the saltiness of the cheese are a magical combination—especially when they’re accented with something sweet and a little spicy, like this hot honey.

Halloumi on a grill.

Throwing cheese on a grill might sound insane, but halloumi is a type of cheese that doesn’t melt when it’s heated, so it’s particularly suited to grilling. Be sure to pat it dry and oil it well to prevent sticking—and don’t panic if it doesn’t seem to release from the grill immediately. Much like a steak in a pan, the halloumi will release when it’s ready to be turned. Resist the urge to scrape at it prematurely—you’ll only destroy the grill marks.

Although hot honey is available in most stores in the US, I chose to make my own for this salad because it’s three ingredients, takes less than 10 minutes, and is infinitely cheaper than buying a bottle of ready-made. Don’t be alarmed by the amount of chili. It will seem like a lot of chili, but don’t be alarmed; that amount is essential for quick flavor infusion. You’ll be straining it out later, anyway.

A piece of grilled halloumi and 2 tomato slices on a plate topped with crispy pepperoni strips and basil and drizzled with hot honey.

Smoky, spicy, salty, sweet—this grilled halloumi salad is everything I want to eat on a warm summer evening. Between that luscious spicy sweet honey and those pepperoni crispies, it’s summertime magic on a plate.



Hot Honey Grilled Halloumi and Tomato Salad

(Serves 4)

Grilled halloumi and tomatoes on a plate topped with crispy pepperoni strips and basil and drizzled with hot honey.

½ c. honey

2 tsp. chili flakes

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

2 oz. sliced pepperoni, cut into ¼” strips

1 ripe tomato, cut into ¼” thick rounds

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 tbsp. olive oil, plus more for the grill

8 oz. halloumi, cut into ¼” thick planks

¼ c. fresh basil, torn

Special equipment: strainer, grill or grill pan


In a small pot, warm honey and chili flakes over medium heat just until starting to bubble around the edges. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir in apple cider vinegar, then strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl, reserving the strained chili flakes. Set aside.

Add pepperoni strips to a medium pan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 4-6 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Arrange tomato slices on another plate in a single layer and season with ½ teaspoon salt. Set aside.

Lay out a double layer of paper towels on a clean work space and arrange halloumi slices on top in a single layer. Cover with another double layer of paper towels and press firmly to remove excess moisture from halloumi. Transfer halloumi to another plate, discarding wet paper towels, and rub with 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Meanwhile, heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat; brush lightly with oil. Arrange halloumi on the hot grill and cook, undisturbed, until dark grill marks appear on the bottom, 2-3 minutes. Using a metal spatula, flip and grill on the other side 1 minute more, then remove from grill.

Layer grilled halloumi and sliced tomato on plate and drizzle with hot honey. Top with crispy pepperoni and basil and serve.

Hot honey in a cup with a small serving spoon.

Posted on July 16, 2023.


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