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bowl of peach panzanella salad tossed with blueberry balsamic dressing

Peach Panzanella Salad with Halloumi Cheese and Blueberry Balsamic Dressing

Juicy peaches, ripe tomatoes, briny halloumi cheese, and crunchy rustic bread come together in this Peach Panzanella Salad, a twist on the classic Tuscan salad. This vegetarian recipe can easily be made gluten free with gluten-free bread. To make vegan, eliminate the cheese.

Course Salad
Cuisine Egg-Free, Mediterranean, Nut-Free, Vegetarian
Keyword panzanella salad, peaches, salad, summer recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 4
Author Jessica Levinson

Ingredients

For the Blueberry Balsamic Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Salad:

  • 4-5 ounces rustic whole grain ciabatta or sourdough bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (~2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 7-8 ounce package halloumi cheese, cut into 6 slices (see note)
  • 2 ounces arugula (~2 packed cups)
  • 2 large peaches, sliced (~2 cups)
  • 1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced red onion (see note)
  • 1/2 cup basil, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. In a small blender, combine dressing ingredients from blueberries through pepper and blend until smooth. Set aside.

  2. Line a toaster pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Toss bread cubes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/8 teaspoon salt and spread in a single layer on pan. Toast about 8 minutes, tossing bread half way through, until cubes are dried out and golden brown at the edges. Remove from oven and let cool.

  3. While the bread is toasting, over medium-high heat, add remaining tablespoon oil in a medium skillet, preferably cast-iron, and swirl to coat the pan. 

    When the skillet is hot, add halloumi slices in one layer (you may need to work in batches depending on the size of your pan) and cook about 2 to 3 minutes until bottom is golden brown. Flip the cheese and cook until other side is golden brown, another 2 to 3 minutes. Flip a few more times to brown all sides and then transfer halloumi to a plate or cutting board. Cut cooked halloumi into 1-inch thick strips and set aside.

  4. In a large bowl, toss arugula with peaches, tomatoes, blueberries, red onion, basil, toasted bread cubes, and blueberry balsamic dressing.

  5. Portion salad onto four plates and top with sliced pan-fried halloumi. Drizzle with some more dressing if desired.

Recipe Notes

*Halloumi can be found at select supermarkets. Trader Joe's carries it during the summer months. It can be found in the cheese aisle and it comes pre-sliced in 6 pieces.

*Red onions can be very pungent and overpowering. To reduce their bite, submerge in a bowl of cold water for 5 to 10 minutes after slicing

*Since blueberries are in season in the summer, fresh were used in this recipe. If using frozen to make the dressing, you may need some water to thin it out.