Grilled Watermelon & Halloumi Salad
This salad feels like such a celebration of summer. On the grill, the watermelon develops character. It’s not just sweet and juicy — it’s got some smoke. The grill does great things for the halloumi too: it mellows out some of the cheese’s saltiness, and gives it a crispy, creamy savoriness. The toasty halloumi tastes wonderful tossed with chunks of watermelon, spicy arugula, toasted pistachios and a sweet, punchy vinaigrette.
It’s a show-stopping salad, the kind you want to make for everyone, everywhere, but it doesn’t travel well, so save it for dinner parties on your own deck. Go ahead and prep it ahead, but wait ‘til all your guests arrive to toss it on the grill — you want to eat this one right off the grate, when the cheese is melty and the fruit is warm.
Our tip: The vinaigrette on this salad is a gem. It’s full of honey, ginger, lime and shallot, so it has a lot of bright zip. You can toss the leftovers on just about any greens, but it would also make a great marinade for salmon, drizzle for hummus or dip for grilled toast points.
1 small seedless watermelon
8 ounces halloumi cheese, cut into ½-inch slices
¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons lime juice, divided
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, divided and finely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon honey
4 cups arugula
¼ cup roasted, salted pistachios, chopped
- Heat grill to high.
- Cut top and bottom from watermelon. Slice remaining watermelon into 1-inch-thick vertical slabs, leaving outer peel and rind intact.
- Place the watermelon slabs and halloumi slices on a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons of the lime juice, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of the chopped ginger and ½ teaspoon of the salt.
- Pour mixture over watermelon and cheese, turning each piece to coat evenly in the marinade. Chill, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in the same small bowl, stir together shallots, honey, and remaining ¼ cup lime juice, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon ginger and ½ teaspoon salt until combined. Let the vinaigrette stand at room temperature until ready to use.
- Place the watermelon on an oiled grill grate and grill, uncovered, turning once, until grill marks appear and watermelon is slightly tender, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer watermelon to a cutting board.
- Place the halloumi on the grate and grill, uncovered, turning once, until grill marks appear and cheese is slightly softened, about 1 minute per side. Remove from grill and cool on wire rack, about 5 minutes.
- Arrange the arugula on a large platter. Cut 2 watermelon slabs into wedges (leaving rind intact) and slice halloumi into cubes. Arrange watermelon wedges and halloumi over arugula, and spoon ¼ cup of the vinaigrette over top.
- Sprinkle the salad with chopped pistachios and serve it with the remaining watermelon wedges and vinaigrette.