Watermelon Salad with Fried Halloumi & Basil

It’s Part 7 of the Real Food Ramadan series! (Check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3Part 4Part 5 and Part 6 over here!)

Basil Watermelon & Fried Halloumi Salad

We’re more than halfway through the month and I’ve miraculously avoided indulgence of the usual Ramadan suspects. They’re coming after me in full force too, with their proponents whispering, “one won’t do any harm… just one”.

Really, that’s just my mom. She may have asked me more than once when my “diet” is going to end. Parents and their love – it’s complicated?

For this almost-victory I credit watermelon.  With a plate of watermelon by my side I can do it.  It trumps a plate of fried goodies after a 17-hour fast right in the middle of summer any day of the week.

And while I generally restrict my fruit intake, during Ramadan it’s been free reign. To balance it out I’m eating plenty of salads too – like this Watermelon Salad with Fried Halloumi and Basil (yes, I said salad).

Remember when someone discovered years ago that watermelon pairs well with feta and everyone went crazy? This is a play on that but with halloumi. There’s tons of recipe that are similar — this is my simplified version. You can play around and drizzle it with olive oil and balsamic reduction or pomegranate molasses. I find that sweet watermelon paired with salty and crispy halloumi and anise-y peppery basil is good enough.

This is the simplest non-recipe ever to serve as an appetizer to guests but you can also have a plate all to yourself. It’s salad after all.

Watermelon Salad With Fried Halloumi and Basil
As much as you want

Ingredients:

  • Halloumi cheese, cut into ½ -1 inch cubes
  • Watermelon, cut into ½ -1 inch cubes (you need twice as much watermelon as halloumi)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Avocado oil (or other pale-friendly neutral tasting oil for frying)

Method:

On a plate, season the cubed halloumi with freshly ground black pepper.

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In a pan heat a little bit of oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot add the halloumi to the pan with each piece laying flat.

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Fry for 1 minute until a brown crispy layer forms and flip to the opposing side. Fry for another 1 minute and remove.

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Skewer your ingredients, first with a piece of watermelon followed by piece of halloumi, basil and watermelon again.

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Serve.

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