I always categorize my salads into two different types. There’s the “healthy” salads, loaded with greens and lettuce and good-for-you add-ins. These are the kinds of salads you can feel good about eating because they’re lightly dressed and actually good for you. These are also the salads I depend on when I’ve eaten too many fried foods and want some alleviation from my not-so-healthy choices. The second type of salad, which is the one I lean to the most, are the much heartier salads that actually don’t have much lettuce or greens at all. This Fried Green Tomato and Halloumi Salad is hearty, filling and loaded with so much flavor. A fried green tomato base with fried halloumi, dolloped with a Cajun-style remoulade, feta and micro greens; this is the dish you’ve been waiting for. You might not call it the healthiest salad, or a salad at all, but I certainly think of it as this summer’s salad of choice.
Let’s start by seasoning the tomatoes. It’s important to season the tomatoes right before dredging so that they’re not plain. Arrange the tomato slices on a plate or platter and season both sides lightly with a bit of salt and pepper.
**Tip: You want the tomatoes to be green or light yellow-ish in color, but more importantly they have to be firm so that they stand up to the dredging and frying.**
Let’s set up our dredging station to make it easier for us and make this frying journey a success for us. In a shallow dish, combine the flour with a bit of salt and pepper. In a separate shallow dish whisk the eggs. Then in a third dish, combine the panko, plain bread crumbs and a bit of salt and pepper as well.
To dredge the tomatoes, dip each slice into flour, shake, then dip into the eggs, and finally into the bread crumbs, patting on both sides to coat each slice evenly. Place on a wire rack, set over a baking sheet and continue to dredge the remaining slices.
Fry the tomatoes in a cast iron skillet with a bit of vegetable or canola oil for about 2 minutes per side or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
**Tip: If you want to keep the tomatoes crispy and warm, transfer to a wire rack, set over a baking sheet and keep warm in a preheated 250 degree F oven until ready to assemble the salad.**
Let’s talk halloumi. If you’re not familiar with it, halloumi is a firm salty grilling cheese from Cyprus and it’s absolutely delicious. Set a large skillet over medium heat, and drizzle a bit of oil. Once hot, add the cheese slices and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
**Tip: If you can’t find halloumi at your store, try the same method with Mexican cotija cheese. You’ll get the same color on the cheese and you’ll still get that salty bite.**
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, sour cream, mustard, lemon juice, hot sauce, Cajun seasoning and a bit of black pepper and salt until smooth.
**Tip: You can make the sauce up to 2 days in advance and keep it in the fridge until ready to use. It’s a great dipping sauce for all sorts of different things like fried shrimp or fish.**
To assemble the salad, arrange the fried tomatoes and halloumi on a large plate or platter. Dollop with the Cajun remoulade sauce and sprinkle with micro greens and crumbled feta.
You want to assemble the salad right before you plan on eating it since you don’t want the tomatoes to get soggy. This is all about the crispiness from the tomatoes and the salty from the cheese. The cooling sauce with the feta bites and the healthy micro greens, is what really makes this the ultimate hearty salad.
The great thing about this dish is that it can be eaten warm, right after the tomatoes and cheese have been fried, but it’s also just as delicious at room temperature if you want to make the components ahead of time. Just assemble the salad right before you plan on eating or serving the salad.
If you want to make this salad more of a “salad” then you can skip the micro greens and use mixed salad greens instead. Just place the greens on the bottom and assemble the salad on top of that. Either way, it’s a great dish to make this summer so give it a try soon! (If you want to. I didn’t mean to sound so bossy).
- 4 firm green tomatoes, sliced
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup plain bread crumbs
- oil for frying
- 7 ounces sliced halloumi
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
- couple dashes hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon Cajun/Creole seasoning
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta
- ½ cup micro greens
- Place the sliced tomatoes on a large platter and season both sides lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a shallow dish, mix together the flour with a bit of salt and pepper. In a separate shallow dish, whisk the eggs until smooth. In a third dish, combine the panko, plain bread crumbs and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. To dredge the tomatoes, dip the tomato slices into the flour, then into the egg, and finally into the bread crumbs until evenly coated. Transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet, and continue coating the rest of the tomato slices. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
- Set a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, and fill with about 1-inch of vegetable or canola oil. Once the oil is hot, fry the tomatoes in batches until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
- Place a separate skillet over medium heat. Add a drizzle of oil and fry the halloumi for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, sour cream, lemon juice, mustard, hot sauce, cajun seasoning, and a pinch of salt and pepper until smooth.
- To assemble the salad, arrange the fried tomatoes on a large serving platter. Place the fried halloumi on top and sprinkle with micro greens. Dollop with the sauce and sprinkle with feta. Serve immediately and enjoy!