Pic of warm roasted pepper and lentil salad with olives and halloumi

warm roasted pepper and lentil salad with olives and halloumi

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warm roasted pepper and lentil salad with olives and halloumi

Serves 2 50 min
Halloumi is a very useful cheese to have in your fridge. It gives vegetarian dishes a salty hit and its firm texture means it stands up to frying or grilling, which brings out the flavour. If you'd prefer to make the dish vegan, it can stand up without the halloumi. As well as adding peppery flavour to salads, watercress wilts into soups, stews and warm salads too, giving extra nutrients,


  • 4 red peppers
  • 2 tbsp sunflower or light olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 celery sticks, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, grated or crushed
  • 100g Puy-style lentils, rinsed in a sieve under cold water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp dried mint
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 100g pitted black olives
  • 1 pack (150–200g) halloumi, cut into 1–2cm-thick slices
  • small glug of extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g watercress
  • small handful of chopped fresh mint or parsley, to garnish
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 40 min
  • Step 1

    Char and peel the peppers. While they're cooking, heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot and celery and fry on a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring now and then. If they look as if they might catch at any point, add a splash of water.
  • Step 2

    Once softened, add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the lentils, bay leaf, oregano, cumin, mint and 300ml water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20–25 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Keep an eye on the liquid towards the end and top up with a little extra water as needed.
  • Step 3

    Almost all the liquid should have been absorbed by the end of cooking. Once done, remove from the heat if the peppers aren't quite ready. Roughly chop the peppers into strips and stir them into the lentils with the vinegar and olives. Remove the bay leaf and season to taste. Set aside while you fry the halloumi.
  • Step 4

    Heat a dry non-stick frying pan, add the halloumi slices and fry for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden. Gently warm the lentils if needed, then stir in the watercress and extra virgin olive oil and serve with the halloumi slices on top, scattered with the fresh herbs.

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