Chickpeas with Tomato, Basil, and Halloumi


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It only happens every once in a while, but I love to eat lunch outside.  When I was working in DC, there was a random nearby vegetable garden maintained by the USDA which almost gave lunch outside the feeling of being in someone’s backyard (except for the traffic on Constitution Avenue and mobs of tourists wearing pink “FBI” shirts).  Here in Bangkok I can speedwalk to a park and sit on a charming bench to eat my lunch outside.
There are no tourists in pink “FBI” shirts here.
But there are guys rollerblading at high speeds.
And giant monster monitor lizards lurking in the grass.
This salad is a great one to pack up for lunches throughout the week, even in the Bangkok heat.  It uses Halloumi, which is lots of fun to cook with if you’ve never tried it.  Halloumi is a salty cheese, sort of reminiscent of feta, but it doesn’t melt.  When you put it in a hot pan, it retains its shape, which means it is a cheese you can throw directly on the grill.  (Or so I’ve heard.)
It’s extra tasty with a couple rambutans on the side.  That one I can confirm from personal experience.

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Sauteed Chickpeas with Tomato, Basil, and Halloumi

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 4 oz (about 120 grams) Halloumi, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 16- oz bag of chickpeas cooked and drained (about 6 cups)
  • juice from 1/4 of a lemon (about 2 tsp. of juice)
  • 1 handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper


  • Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and halloumi and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are tender and halloumi turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes, pressing gently to release their juice. Cook until tomatoes start to sizzle and caramelize, about 5 minutes more. Add chickpeas and cook until heated through. Remove from heat and add lemon juice, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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  1. I am obsessed with haloumi. I love the squeaky sound it makes when you bite through it. I’ve never cooked it chopped up with other things before but I have haloumi, onions and tomatoes in the fridge… guess what I’m having for lunch.