I’m ringing in June with this Crispy Hot Honey Halloumi with Radish Snap Pea Salad. And it’s quite fitting because this is pretty much late spring on a plate. Peak season radishes and sugar snap peas perched on top of a bed of tzatziki paired with crisp oven-fried halloumi doused in hot honey. This plate has everything I love, a tangy creamy base, sweet and salty flavors, crisp vegetables, and a solid crunch. It also plays nicely with a cold glass of white or rose. What more could a patio party ask for?
This is the kind of dish I dream about. There is so much contrast on this single plate my brain cannot handle it. And I mean that in the best possible way. There’s the saltiness of the halloumi, the crunch of the breading, the sweet heat from the hot honey, the tart creaminess of the tzatziki, and the freshness from the lightly dressed radish snap pea salad. This dish has it all and I am completely obsessed. I even feel a little bad for loving this dish as much as I do because it feels a tad egotistical. But don’t worry, I’ll muck up a cake soon and that will bring me back down to earth.
So let’s start from the bottom and work our way up, shall we? This recipe for tzatziki is my go-to. I make it several times a year, and it’s made a few appearances on the blog already. It’s not hard to make. It requires nothing more than a little light chopping and stirring. But one thing about this tzatziki is non-negotiable. You must squeeze the excess moisture from the cucumber and you must use a good yogurt. One that is nice and thick with a good amount of milk fat (3% or higher). Most of this dip is yogurt, so it pays to get a good one. Other than that you can tinker with this recipe. Add scallions instead of shallots, dill instead of parsley, etc. There is a lot of room for experimentation here.
Next, let’s talk about the Radish Snap Pea Salad. Like the tzatziki, this salad involves nothing more than light chopping and stirring. You may have noticed from the picture, I varied the way I cut my radishes and snap peas. I did this for visual impact. But the different cuts do keep things interesting for the eater. The julienne radish brings a different texture to the table than the shaved radish for instance. But if you’d rather maintain your chopping rhythm, you can cut everything the same way and still have a salad worth telling your friends about.
Once the veg is sliced and diced, it’s time to dress them. This Crispy Hot Honey Halloumi plate has a lot going on, so there’s no need to trot out a complicated vinaigrette for this. All we’re going to do is enhance the natural flavors of the vegetables. And we can achieve this by adding nothing more than olive oil, salt, and a little lemon juice. Black pepper is a great addition as well. Again, there is a lot of room for experimentation here. You could try adding sumac, cumin, or some crushed red pepper flakes. But try to keep things simple. As I mentioned before, this plate already has a lot going on.
Now, let’s talk about the main attraction – the halloumi. For those of you who are unfamiliar, halloumi is a semi-hard, unripened cheese that hails from Cyprus. It’s famous for its high melting point, which makes it the ideal candidate for frying or grilling or, in this case, baking. In other words, halloumi will hold its shape while you, bread it, bake it, and eat it. Yes, this is a cheese you eat with a knife and fork. The Crispy Hot Honey Halloumi is breaded in a panko and sesame seed mixture, drizzled with oil, and baked until golden on both sides. Halloumi is quite salty, so it’s the ideal companion for something sweet. Sweet like the hot honey listed below.
Making hot honey is so simple, I almost feel silly explaining it. All you have to do is heat up the honey (I did this in the microwave) and stir in some crushed red pepper flakes. I heat the honey before adding the flakes because I find the red pepper almost steeps in the honey. The crushed red pepper flakes soften and become easier to chew while their heat works its way through the honey. And when it comes time to pour it over the halloumi, don’t hold back.
Finally, let’s talk finishing touches and plating. Now, obviously, you can eat this any way you please but I do think the tzatziki should be on the bottom and spread in a fairly even layer. You’re bound to pick up a little with every forkful that way. And I placed the halloumi on top of the salad to minimize any sogginess. But honestly, the halloumi isn’t likely to hang around long enough to get soggy even if it’s covered in the salad. So all this is to say, you do you.
So that’s everything you need to know about this Crispy Hot Honey Halloumi with Radish Snap Pea Salad. It brings every flavor and texture to the table and is a little overwhelming in the best possible way.
Crispy Hot Honey Halloumi with Radish Snap Pea Salad
- 1 Small Baking Sheet
- 1 mandolin optional
- ⅛ cucumber deseeded and shredded
- 1 cup Greek yogurt 3% milk fat or higher
- 1 large shallot finely diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh mint finely chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
Hot Honey Halloumi
- 250g (9oz) halloumi cut into 6 slices
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp neutral oil I used avocado oil
- ¼ cup honey
- 1-2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes **
Radish Snap Pea Salad
- ⅛ cucumber deseeded, sliced
- 1 bunch radishes
- 200g (7oz) sugar snap peas *** strings removed, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- ½ lemon juiced
- Fresh parsley leaves
- Fresh mint leaves
For the Tzatziki
- Place the shredded cucumber in a piece of cheesecloth and form it into a bundle. Squeeze the excess moisture from the cucumber.⅛ cucumber
- Place the cucumber in a medium-sized bowl with the remaining tzatziki ingredients. Stir to combine. Transfer the tzatziki to the fridge and chill until ready to serve.1 cup Greek yogurt, 1 large shallot, 1 clove garlic, 1 tbsp fresh parsley, 1 tbsp fresh mint, ½ tsp salt, 1 tbsp lemon juice
For the Crispy Hot Honey Halloumi
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Set it aside.
- Pour the panko breadcrumbs into a wide-shallow vessel, like a pie plate. Add the sesame seeds and whisk to combine. Set it aside.1 cup panko breadcrumbs, ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds
- Working with a piece at a time, roll the halloumi in the cornstarch and shake off the excess. Dip the halloumi in the egg before rolling it in the panko/sesame seed mixture. Transfer the breaded halloumi to the small baking sheet.250g (9oz) halloumi, ⅓ cup cornstarch, 2 large eggs
- Once all the halloumi is breaded, drizzle them with the oil. Transfer the halloumi to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Flip the halloumi and bake for 15 minutes more or until golden.2 tbsp neutral oil
- Heat the honey up in the microwave for 15 seconds. Stir in the chili flakes and set the mixture aside to cool.¼ cup honey, 1-2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes **
For the Salad
- While the halloumi is in the oven, mix the salad. Julienne half of the radishes and thinly slice the other half on a mandolin. ****1 bunch radishes
- Transfer the radishes to a bowl and add the cucumber and sugar snap peas. Add the oil, salt, lemon juice, and pepper and stir. Chill until ready to serve.⅛ cucumber, 200g (7oz) sugar snap peas ***, 2 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp salt, Fresh ground pepper, ½ lemon
- Spoon some tzatziki on some plates and smooth into an even layer. Top the tzatziki with the Radish Snap Pea Salad and top with 2-3 slices of halloumi. Drizzle the hot honey over the halloumi and garnish the dish with fresh parsley and mint leaves. Serve immediately.Fresh parsley leaves, Fresh mint leaves