Halloumi kale salad in grey ceramic bowl, pesto sauce, wooden table top

Halloumi Kale Salad with Pesto

Fall in love with kale (really!) with this halloumi kale salad with a pesto dressing. Massaged kale with roasted sweet potato, pan fried halloumi and drizzled in a lemony pesto is a match made in heaven! 
Course Main Course, Salads and Sides
Categories egg free, gluten free, grain free, vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 5-6 large kale leaves about 1/3 - 1/2 small bunch kale
  • 1 large sweet potato about 400 grams
  • 100-125 grams halloumi about 1/2 small block
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pesto - I used my lemon basil pesto, see recipe notes
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts - OPTIONAL, for topping
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds - OPTIONAL, for topping
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Rinse and scrub sweet potato and then cut into small chunks (about 2cm cubes). Place on a non-stick oven tray,  drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and toss around to coat. Spread out evenly and roast for 45 minutes or until soft and slightly browning.

  2. Wash the kale leaves and then tear into small pieces, discarding the thick inner stems. Place the leaves in a large bowl. Add 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, the juice of half of the lemon and a pinch of salt. Massage the leaves with your fingertips until the leaves soften.

  3. Slice the halloumi into pieces about 5mm thick. Pan fry the halloumi in 1 tbsp olive oil, until golden brown on each side.

  4. If using the pumpkin seeds and pine nuts, toast them in the oven (spread out on a small tray, no oil) for about 5 minutes or until slightly golden. Watch them carefully so they don't burn.

  5. Make the pesto dressing by combining 2 tbsp pesto, 1 tbsp olive oil and the juice of the remaining half of the lemon.

  6. Assemble the salad, layering in the kale leaves, sweet potato, halloumi, seeds/nut and finally finishing with the pesto dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately!

Recipe Notes

*I used my lemon basil pesto recipe for this salad. It's already quite a zesty, lemony-sharp pesto so it's quite punchy when combined with the extra lemon juice in this dressing. If you think it might be too tangy for you, simply omit the extra lemon juice from the dressing. You can use a little water to thin out the dressing instead.

*this recipe is also delicious with roast pumpkin substituted in for the sweet potato!