Grilled Peaches and Halloumi Make the Perfect Summer Salad | culture: the word on cheese
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Grilled Peaches and Halloumi Make the Perfect Summer Salad

A Stone Fruit that Swings Sweet and Savory

Whether you’re partial to yellow-fleshed Georgia classics, delicate white varieties, the adorably flat donut types, or the fuzzless (but technically same species) nectarines, peaches have long played a sweet starring role in summer’s pies and cobblers. Over the past few decades, the fruit has also become a mainstay in savory cooking. Today, you’re just as likely to find the fruit charred on the grill as you are in your favorite dessert. It may no longer be novel to serve peaches alongside pork chops or atop flatbread, but that doesn’t mean it’s not delicious. The key to incorporating peaches into savory cooking lies in balancing their natural sweetness with complementary flavors such as peppery arugula, bracing quick- pickled red onions, and crispy, salty bites of fried halloumi.

Charred Summer Peach and Halloumi Salad

If you’ve never tried halloumi before, you’re in for a treat. Hailing from Cyprus, this goat and sheep’s milk cheese has a relatively high melting point, making it ideal for searing on the stovetop or grill. It’s salty, creamy, slightly-squeaky, and pairs beautifully with juicy, charred peaches, peppery arugula, and bracing mint in this fresh, summer salad. Pickle the onions ahead of time for easier assembly.


  • 1 red onion thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 8.8-oz package halloumi, cut into
  • 1/4- inch-thick slices and patted dry Olive oil for frying plus more for drizzling
  • 2 peaches pits removed and cut into large wedges
  • 2 cups fresh corn cut from about 3 ears
  • 1/4 cup torn mint leaves
  • 4 cups baby arugula


  • Place sliced onion in a jar or other heatproof lidded container. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, 3⁄4 cup water, sugar, and salt. Bring to a simmer and stir. Once sugar and salt have dissolved, pour the hot brine directly over the onions. Cover and set aside to cool.
  • Coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil over medium heat. Once hot, add halloumi and cook until deeply browned and crisp on the bottom, about 3 to 4 minutes. (When first added to the skillet, they will spatter loudly—they’re browning once spattering quiets to a sizzle.)
  • Flip halloumi strips and brown for 1 to 2 more minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Turn heat up to medium-high, adding another drizzle of oil if pan looks dry. Cook peaches in a single layer, cut sides down, until deeply caramelized and charred—don’t be scared if they look almost burnt. Flip and continue to char all cut sides. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Reserve any oil or juices that accumulated in the skillet.
  • While peaches and halloumi cool, add corn and mint to a large bowl.
  • Once cool to slightly warm, cut halloumi and peaches into 1⁄2-inch pieces and add to the bowl, along with arugula, 3⁄4 cup pickled onions, 2 tablespoons pickling liquid, a generous pinch of salt, a drizzle of olive oil, and reserved skillet oil and juices.
  • Toss to combine, adding more salt or pickling liquid to taste. Serve immediately.

Anabelle Doliner

Anabelle is a Brooklyn-based writer with an interest in food, cooking, and pop culture.

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