Simple Mediterranean Avocado salad recipe, tossed in a zingy garlic vinaigrette with a generous pinch of Za'atar! Add decadent grilled halloumi cubes in place of croutons, or leave them off for a vegan option.
If you've been cooking the Mediterranean way for a time, you already know how to build a salad-a great one-out of anything: vegetables, fruit, grains, legumes, herbs. And you've probably already observed that lettuce isn't exactly our go-to ingredient. From the all-popular tabouli, to balela, grain bowls, and my latest grilled zucchini salad--no lettuce!
Adding another craveable, no-lettuce salad to the list: simple Mediterranean avocado salad.
Side note. Avocados are not a native Mediterranean ingredient, they were introduced to parts of the Mediterranean as late as the 1980's. But because of their nutritional value, they have been enthusiastically adopted into Mediterranean cooking and the Mediterranean lifestyle.
Why this avocado salad recipe works?
There isn't a ton of fuss going on here. We're talking just-ripe, creamy avocados, combined with tomatoes, cucumbers, and shallots.
I love to change up my basic vinaigrette once in a while. This time, I used Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, and a generous pinch of all-natural za'ataar (a special spice blend of Mediterranean wild thyme and sesame seed.)
In place of croutons, I used grilled cubes of halloumi cheese. Halloumi is a bit of an unusual Cypriot cheese made from sheep’s, goat’s, and / or cow’s milks. It's salty, sturdy, and somewhat rubbery, so it can easily withstand the heat. When grilled correctly, halloumi melts nicely on the inside, while forming a golden crisp surface.
You can omit the halloumi here, but if you want to add a little touch of decadence to your avocado salad, I'd highly recommend it.Print
Simple Mediterranean Avocado Salad with Halloumi
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: serves 4 to 6 people 1x
Simple avocado salad, prepared Mediterranean-style with cucumbers, tomatoes, basil, and other Mediterranean favorites! Tossed in a tasty garlic vinaigrette with a generous pinch of Za'atar!
- 2 large Roma tomato, diced
- ½ seedless English cucumber (hot house cucumber), diced
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 2 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced, and tossed in fresh lemon juice to avoid browning
- ¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives, more to your liking
- 3 to 4 oz halloumi cheese, optional, cut into small cubes
- 10-15 basil leaves, gathered together and thinly sliced (chiffonade)
- Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil (only if using halloumi)
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- ¼ cup Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 ½ tsp za'atar spice, more to sprinkle
- Salt and pepper
- Prepare the vinaigrette. Place vinaigrette ingredients in a mason jar, cover tightly and shake until well-combined. Set aside for now (you'll want to give the vinaigrette another shake before using).
- In a salad bowl, add all the salad ingredients except the halloumi cheese and basil. Pour the vinaigrette and give the salad a gentle toss. Taste and adjust seasoning, add a sprinkle more of za'tar spice. Add the basil, and give one very quick and gentle toss.
- If adding halloumi cheese. Combine cheese cubes and about 1 to 2 tablespoon or so extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Toss to coat the cheese with the EVOO. Heat an indoor griddle over medium heat. Add cheese cubes and grill for 2-3 minutes, turning over on all sides, until lightly browned and nice char marks appear (it should be crisp on the outside and nice and melty on the inside).
- Add the grilled Halloumi to the salad and serve immediately.
- Recommended for this recipe: Early Harvest Greek extra virgin olive oil from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives. And from our all-natural spice collection, Za'atar, an exceptional spice blend with Mediterranean wild thyme and toasted sesame seeds.
- SAVE! Try our Greek extra virgin olive oil bundle and our Ultimate Mediterranean Spice Bundle! Create your own 6-pack or 3-pack from our all-natural and organic spice collections!
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Category: Salad
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: Simple Mediterranean Salad, salad with avocado, halloumi cheese
More Recipes to Try:
Herbed Couscous Bowls with Roasted Cauliflower
Mediterranean Pomegranate Tomato Salad
Easy Asparagus Recipe with Mediterranean Salsa
Easy Potato Casserole, Egyptian-Style
Love all your recipes and videos ! Make it fun !
Delicious salad, am really enjoying your recipes. Wondering what is your recommended serving size?
Hi, Kim. The whole recipe can be divided by 6 to get the "serving size". The exact serving size measurement (by cups, etc) is another layer that's harder for us to precisely calculate at the moment. So glad you enjoyed the salad!
This is my go to salad. Love it and is very simple to make. Love all your recipes.
Wow, wow, wow. This was amazing. We did include the grilled (indoor) halloumi, and it really made the salad. It's so simple and so delicious, Next time we might try substituting cilantro for the basil, somehow it seemed like that could be a positive alternative.
Ooo! That sounds fun! Would love to know how it turns out!
That looks delicious! I love your secret ingredient!
Thank you, Lisa :). Hope you give it a try!
This is a fabulous salad! My partner says that this is his favorite salad hands down!
Yay, Marian! That's great!
I am so very disappointed. I was pinning nearly every recipe you posted to Pinterest and sharing them. Nowyou have changed that option to pin the recipues and my family and friends miss them so much. Please change your format back so thatwe can enjoy yoyr beautiful food again. Please!
Hi Pamela, we have not changed anything as far as pinning goes! I'm so sorry you're not able to pin. Would you please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and share a little bit more about what's missing for you? Our pin button is available at the very top of each recipe along with other social buttons and also, if you hover on any photo, you should see the big "P" which allows you to pin. Are those available to you?
Hi!! Love watching your videos. Kindly let know why you heat extra Virgin olive oil..
Can i use Indian paneer(cottage cheese) instead of haloumi.
Kindly let know why you heat extra Virgin olive oil?.I believe we should use it without heating.
I think the Indian Paneer would work just fine here. And it is totally okay to heat olive oil.
Hello! Can I use feta cheese as substitute for Halloumi?
Sure thing, Joy!!
Fresh and healthy - love it! Halloumi cheese is underused, in my opinion (by myself included!) and it sounds like the perfect addition here.
Excited to try this! One quick question - in the ingredients basil is listed twice. Should it only be 10-15 not a total of 20-30? Just wanted to clarify. Also, Kalamata olives are a bit salty for me though I do love black olives. Would those work for a substitute here?
Ooooh, love the grilled halloumi in there!
I love chunky salads like this! That avocado is calling my name!
This salad is just dreamy. Such a great side dish for any meal.
Thanks, Alida! We love it
Absolutely love Za’atar spice. So glad that you used this for a salad! I am sure it tasted yum!
Za'atar is where it's at, isn't it? Thanks Sunrita!
Oh wow. This salad is perfection. I love all of the fresh flavors and , of course, the addition of avocado. That creaminess can't be beat! I need this on my menu stat.
I love haloumi!!!! My favorite Greek restaurant back home had a fried cheese dish with pitas and it was my favorite! Love this idea to put it in a salad! I can't wait to try this one for sure!
Oh it's so good, isn't it, Heather! I buy it infrequently because I know i'll binge! lol
This recipe is perfect for summer. Delicious!
Totally! Thanks, Ali!