Beetroot, Squash & Halloumi with Chilli-Herb Dressing

When I first went to university, around 7 years ago now, I remember thinking that a butternut squash was a pretty exotic ingredient. For a start, it looked funny, had an almost impenetrable skin and would keep for what seemed like an age – perfect for the absent minded student. A butternut squash risotto was probably the most adventurous dish I ever cooked back then and I remember that trying to find the sage was a bit of a challenge.



I was a little surprised to find a butternut squash in the veg box this week – it must be an early bloomer. I wanted to roast it but still keep it nice and summery mixed with the grilled, salty cheese, spiked with red chilli and lots of herbs. The key here is to cut the beetroot into small dice and the squash into larger, bite size chunks to ensure they are both cooked at the same time. My halloumi could do with a little more grilling but I am very impatient.

You could use any mixture of soft herbs; I added a bit of mint to contrast the chilli heat, some chives and a little parsley for freshness. Make sure you have some sort of citrus on hand too for cutting through everything; I used lemon as I always have loads hanging around. A final flourish of sunflower seeds for a bit of crunch and it’s a goer.

Beetroot, Squash and Halloumi with Chilli-Herb Dressing

100g halloumi cheese, cubed
3 small beets, cut into small dice
1 small butternut squash, cut into large chunks
1 small handful sunflower seeds
1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 handful mint leaves, chopped
1 handful chives, chopped
1 handful parsley, leaves picked and left whole
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
1 bulb garlic

– Preheat the oven to 200C (425F, gas 7).
– Put the squash, beets and garlic in a roasting tin, splash with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for around 45 minutes until the veggies are tender.
– Fry the halloumi in a dry pan until golden.
– Mix the lemon juice, herbs, chilli and mustard together with some pepper fine salt and mix well. When the veggies are done, squeeze a few cloves of the roasted garlic in too. I like to serve the rest of the cloves on the side but they are also delicious spread on toasted bread with some fruit and/or cheese.
– Put the veggies and halloumi on a serving dish, pour over the dressing and add the seeds.

Category: Gluten-free, Lunchbox, Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetables 21 comments »

21 Responses to “Beetroot, Squash & Halloumi with Chilli-Herb Dressing”

  1. kathryn

    You know I said your courgette “spaghetti” salad was the best so far – I was wrong. This is glorious, glorious food Helen. Can’t express how excited I am by the idea of all these flavours meeting and marinating together. We’ll be having this very soon.

  2. Peter G

    OMG! This is amazing..I’ve bookmarked all these to try soon…This combo is even better…please continue Helen!

  3. Peter

    Hooray for Halloumi!

  4. Fearless Kitchen

    This looks wonderful as usual. We don’t use nearly enough squash in this house, this would be a great way to fix that.

  5. Little Miss Moi

    Wow, that looks delicious. I just love anything with squash in it!

  6. JennDZ_The LeftoverQueen

    This is killer Helen! I love everything about it! I think risotto is very adventurous for a Uni student, considering many adults are intimidated to try it (not sure why – guess it’s the name). My big adventure was always seeing what I could do to make a grilled cheese fun! Oh and by the way, I am so bookmarking this! Delish!

  7. Sophie

    We would like to feature this recipe on our blog. Please email if interested. Thanks :)


  8. Lisa

    It just so happens that halloumi is one of my very favorite cheese at the moment and I absolutely love beets. Fantastic recipes. I will try this.

  9. Kevin

    That salad sounds really tasty!

  10. Johanna

    This looks wonderful – so many of my favourite flavours in one salad. Bookmarking this one! I made a lot of risotto as a student but it took me ages and lots of frustration to work out that it really made a difference if the stock was hot. I have always loved pumpkin in risotto but I agree with you that there is so much more you can do with it!

  11. Christie @ fig&cherry

    Oh halloumi how I love thee. Love this salad too Helen, a definite triumph!

  12. farida

    What a colorful salad! This is the way I like them. So many healthy and delicious ingredients! I should try this one. YUM!

  13. Maggie

    This sounds wonderful! All of the herbs and the halloumi sound like they would be great with the beets and squash. I’ll definately give this a try.

  14. nina

    You are just so amazing with salads.Helen. I can’t wait for our next family-get-together. I’m going to be the star with all these new recipes. Not to worry, I will tell them it is yours!!!!

  15. Niamh

    Yum yum yum!

    Niamhs last blog post..The Providores – Turkish Eggs

  16. Jeanne

    I’ve always loved butternut squash and I can’t think of any dish not improved by halloumi (well, maybe chocolate mousse…!) – so what’s not to like about this salad? Love the colours and the flavours – inspired!!

  17. kathryn

    We finally had this for dinner over the weekend. And it was delicious. Strong, vibrant, tasty stuff. Thanks Helen.

  18. Janine

    Helen, as of tonight, I will have made this salad 3 times in the last week. I think I have an obsession! In fact, all your salads look unusual and delicious. Love your blog, and I will visit often!

    Janines last blog post..Beetroot, Squash and Halloumi with Chili-Herb Dressing

  19. Jennifer Joyce

    so colourful and clever use of flavours. I could live on salad and this will have to be made.

  20. Eric Patterson

    Herbs are really useful in getting nutrients naturally, some of them have medicinal properties too.:,*

  21. James Cheseldine

    Simple and brilliant. I added a red onion in 8ths. Will be making again very soon.

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