Lentil, Herb + Halloumi Salad

As everyone is gearing up for summer's last holiday weekend, we have absolutely no plans and it's making me very happy. A long weekend of hanging out sounds like the perfect way to say adios to summer, even though I'm pretty sure the 90° weather isn't leaving Philly anytime soon. Robert made this lentil, herb + halloumi salad recently and I went crazy for it.

There's something to be said for the simplicity of this salad. The lentils are a nice detour from the traditional grains and greens dishes that we often make. The lentils make the perfect earthy base for the freshness of the herbs and saltiness of the halloumi to shine. We had this as a main, but as a lot of our recipes like this it could certainly be a side dish as well. 

Lentil, Herb + Halloumi Salad
serves 4

2 cups green lentils, cleaned and rinsed
8 oz halloumi cheese
1 cup parsley, torn
1/2 cup cilantro, torn
1/2 cup mint, torn
3 tbs olive oil, divided
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper

In a medium saucepan, cover lentils with approximately 2 inches of water. Add bay leaves and salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. When boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered until lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat, discard bay leaves and rinse with cool water. Set aside. 

In a skillet over high heat, warm 1 tbs olive oil until shimmering. Add halloumi and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, combine lentils, parsley, cilantro and mint. Toss with remaining 2 tbs olive oil and season with salt and pepper. To serve, top with halloumi and additional black pepper.