Cucumber-Tomato Salad With Seared Halloumi and Olive Oil Croutons Recipe (2024)

By Julia Moskin

Cucumber-Tomato Salad With Seared Halloumi and Olive Oil Croutons Recipe (1)

Total Time
40 minutes, plus chilling, if desired
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This recipe, inspired by the Greek horiatiki salad, illustrates the power of good, fresh olive oil to make a dish taste bright and rich — and never oily. It’s used here to toast the croutons, to infuse garlic into the dressing and to distribute the sweetness of ripe tomatoes throughout the salad. Finally, use it to pan-fry slices of halloumi and make this a vegetarian main course.

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Yield:6 to 8 servings as an appetizer, 4 to 6 servings as an entree

    For the Croutons

    • 1pound slightly stale sourdough or country bread, thickly sliced
    • cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • Kosher salt

    For the Salad

    • 4 to 5cups cucumber chunks, preferably thin-skinned, such as Kirby or Persian
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 2 to 3pounds cherry tomatoes, halved, or ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
    • 8 to 12ounces halloumi (see Tip)
    • 2garlic cloves
    • ½cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
    • 2tablespoons thinly sliced red onion or scallions, plus more to taste
    • 2 to 3tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint or basil
    • 2tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus more as needed

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

488 calories; 33 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 18 grams monounsaturated fat; 4 grams polyunsaturated fat; 37 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams dietary fiber; 8 grams sugars; 13 grams protein; 755 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Cucumber-Tomato Salad With Seared Halloumi and Olive Oil Croutons Recipe (2)


  1. Make the croutons: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut each slice of bread into 1-inch-wide strips. Tear each strip into 1-inch pieces, removing the crust as you go if it is very thick. Transfer to a large baking sheet (or use 2 sheets, if necessary to prevent crowding). Drizzle with olive oil and toss until evenly coated.

  2. Step


    Bake until golden brown and crunchy on the outside, 18 to 22 minutes, rotating the baking sheet and turning the croutons halfway through so they brown evenly, and checking them every few minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with a light sprinkling of salt, if needed. Let cool on the baking sheet.

  3. Step


    Make the salad: In a colander in the sink, toss the cucumbers with about ½ teaspoon salt. Place a bag of ice cubes or an ice pack on top to chill and firm the cucumbers. Let drain while you prepare the other ingredients.

  4. Step


    In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes with about ½ teaspoon salt. Toss and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.

  5. Step


    Slice the halloumi about ¼-inch thick, then cut into bite-size strips. Smash and peel the garlic cloves and combine with ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil in a small bowl to steep.

  6. Step


    Pour off excess liquid from the bowl holding the tomatoes. Add drained cucumbers, red onion or scallions, fresh herbs and 2 tablespoons vinegar to tomatoes and toss well. Remove and discard the garlic cloves from the extra-virgin olive oil, add the oil to tomatoes and mix well. (If desired, the salad can be made up until this point and refrigerated for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain off excess liquid in the bottom of the bowl before proceeding.)

  7. Step


    When ready to serve, add about half the croutons to the salad and toss so they can absorb the liquid. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt, pepper, extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar.

  8. Step


    Cook the halloumi: Line a plate with paper towels and lightly coat a nonstick skillet with extra-virgin olive oil. Heat oil over medium-high until rippling. Working in batches, cook the halloumi strips on both sides until golden-brown and crusty, about 1 minute per side. Remove to the plate to drain.

  9. Step


    Taste and add more croutons to salad as desired. (If there are too many, the salad will be starchy; too few, and it will be wet.) At the last minute, toss in the halloumi, add another good glug of extra-virgin olive oil, mix gently and serve immediately. (If desired, transfer to a clean bowl or platter for serving.)


  • Halloumi, sometimes labeled “bread cheese,” is a Mediterranean cheese that holds its shape when cooked. It is available in blocks at cheese shops and in the dairy section of many supermarkets.



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Cooking Notes


From one home cook to another ---Delicious. But there are quite a few steps that can be cut. If you aren't into salting your tomatoes AND cucumbers separately/do not want to clean up more dishes, do it together, or don't do it at all. Similarly, icing the cucumbers was a bit frivolous. Put them in the freezer for a few minutes if you are looking for "firm" cucumbers. Another note, I was considering making crostini instead of croutons, but croutons are most definitely the way to go.


I already had most of the ingredients except for the halloumi, but I breaded mozzarella slices (flour, beaten egg, panko) and they worked just fine!


Because I had delicious late summer cherry tomatoes, I saved their juice and whisked it into the vinaigrette (using a Serious Eats tip from their panzanella recipe). Pre-salting the tomatoes is still important but then incorporating the juice back into the salad by letting the crunchy croutons soak it up - brilliant. This was a fantastic side to roast chicken.


I LOVED this but here are some things I'd do differently -1) I didn't ice the cucumbers - not necessary2) Salt the tomatoes in a colander 3) WAY too much bread - I'd use half as much bread next time as we only used half of it4) I used ¼ cup of pickled red onions 5) Just slice the halloumi in slabs and sear, then cut up. This was about 10 servings as a side.

Kate NYC

This is a nice chopped salad and agree with the description of it as a mix of a Greek salad and panzanella. If I made it again, I'd eliminate the halloumi (or mozzarella) as well as the icing of the cucumbers and the addition of vinegar -- instead just use the salty, fresh juices from the tomatoes. I might, however, add a crumble of feta.Because they are so evident as ingredients, the quality of olive oil and bread really matter here.


Did not have halloumi cheese and crumbled smoked feta cheese into salad instead. Used basil and some parsley as herbs along with the crushed garlic from the infused oil. Delicious.

Mary lynn

Use first note to skip some steps


Just saved this recipe. I love bread salads and all the suggestions from your readers. Thank you.


I’ve made this salad so many times because it is just so good when cherry tomatoes are good. I’ve never salted the cucumbers; I tear the bread into smallish crumbs rather than croutons; and I’ve used bread cheese when I can’t find halloumi which I just cube and bake. Super easy and super yummy!


Delicious as is (although yes, icing the cucumbers is probably unnecessary), but try adding in a chopped avocado! We make it this way all the time at home and just eat the salad as our entire dinner.


Very nice. Refreshing and attractive. I used Vidalia onion, regular cucumber (seeds mostly cut out) and a combo of cherry tomatoes and regular. Croutons were terrific, adding a fantastic crunch. Much easier to pull this salad together than it looks.


Added avo and peach chunks!

Marcia Silverstein

I make a salad of chopped cucs with cut up same size tomatoes or cherry tomatoes cut in half plus red onion thin slices and basil. Salt the tomatoes and cucs and add red wine vinegar (tablespoon or more as desired)and small amount (1tablespoon) of evoo Let stand for everything to meld Delicious


Way overly-complicated for what it produces. The flavors are meh and the texture was nice. Cut the croutons smaller than directed if you plan to add them at the end. Or don’t continually drain the juices (why on earth would you do that?) if you leave the croutons large.


Don't eat bread so added warm faro - which absorbed all the delicious liquid from the tomatoes- and the arugula. Will make again- everyone loved.

Justin R.

So so. A bit fussy in preparation. Better is the pita and cucumber salad on this site, just at halloumi.


I love this salad!!!! I've made it a million times and it's delish. Sometimes I add radish, sometimes I use whatever random vinegar I have in my pantry. But let me tell you, I ain't never chilled those cucumbers. And it's still AMAZING!


5th time and still amazing. This should be a “no recipe, recipe”. Just use the ingredient list and assemble, balancing quanties according to what is on hand. Put all veggies in bowl (including chopped garlic), use plenty of basalmic vinegar. Do NOT drain any of the lucious juices. Dont bother draining cucumbers (tried that previously with no impact for the effort). DO toss bread cubes with olive oil and salt and toast. DO sear halumi in pan until golden brown. Mix in and enjoy. Yum.


Oh so good with heirloom tomatoes and fresh picked cucumbers! I used less bread for a full meal salad and would leave most of it out if served as a side. Like others, I just stuck cucumbers in the freezer for a few minutes and I’m not even sure they needed that. I also used the tomato juices from about five types of tomatoes— it was sweet so still needed a splash of vinegar. The halloumi is perfect with it.

Hussain Currimbhoy

all kind of perfect summer time dinner yes

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Cucumber-Tomato Salad With Seared Halloumi and Olive Oil Croutons Recipe (2024)


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