Puy Lentils with Halloumi Recipe

By alison - June 11, 2010 (Updated: November 24, 2014)

Puy Lentils with Grilled Halloumi Cheese

Puy Lentils with fried Halloumi Cheese

Puy lentils, lentille du Puy, (or French green lentils) come from the Le Puy region of south-central France. These small, green, peppery lentils are often called ‘poor man’s caviare’ in France. I hadn’t really eaten lentils, outside of the occasional curry, before moving to Europe. But Puy lentils have since become of favourite.

If, like me, you’ve never cooked puy lentils before, don’t be intimidated. Rinse the lentils in a colander until the water runs clear.  You can cook them in stock or water with a bit of salt. Boil them for about 25-30 minutes. They should be slightly al dente. Drain off any excess water and you’re done!

Halloumi (or haloumi) was something completely new for me and I am now in love. This salty cheese is a mixture of sheep and goat milk and comes originally from Cyprus. It can be found in Greece and Middle Eastern cooking as well. The interesting thing about this cheese is that you can fry or grill it and it doesn’t lose it’s shape.

I have been wanting to experiment with this cheese for some time now, so when I found this recipe for puy lentils with grilled halloumi I had to give it a go.

Here’s the recipe as I cooked it (because you know I had to tweak a bit):

Puy Lentil, Cherry Tomato and Halloumi Salad

  • 250 g cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 of a finely sliced onion
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 150 g Puy Lentils
  • 250 g Halloumi
  • hand full of fresh chopped basil


  1. Toss the tomatoes, onion, garlic, lemon juice and oil in a bowl.
  2. Cook Puy Lentils until tender, drain and add to the bowl.
  3. Chop Halloumi into cubes and fry in a splash of olive oil until golden.
  4. Add fried Halloumi and basil to the bowl and mix well.

It’s easy and delicious and I will definitely be making this again soon! Have you cooked Puy lentils or Halloumi? Share your comments or recipes below.

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Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
One of my biggest goals in coming back to my home province was to learn as much as I could about our First... - 6 days ago


  1. Comment by Sion @ paris (im)perfect

    Sion @ paris (im)perfect June 11, 2010 at 12:12

    Hi Alison. I was just in Le Puy en Velay where these lentils come from! (I wrote about my weekend there here:

    I can recommend not only the lentils, but also the region itself. It’s a stop on the famous Santiago de Compostela walk (which I really want to do someday!)

    As for lentils, they’re often my lifesaver in the winter. I eat mainly vegetarian cuisine (I’m a meat-lover, but for environmental/ethical reasons I try not to indulge *too* much) and lentils are an important source of protein. Thanks for the recipe! I’ll try it out!

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison June 11, 2010 at 13:07

      I really want to do the Compostela walk too! Ever since I read Tim Moore’s book about it. I guess I need to find a donkey 🙂

      The salad is so easy and very filling. We had it as our main course but it would be a nice starter too. I have a great chickpea salad recipe that I should post as well.

  2. Comment by Louise

    Louise June 11, 2010 at 12:50

    Sounds and looks great. Couldn’t you give some photo tips on how to take nice pictures of food? I try a lot but seem not to succeed very often…

    • Comment by Alison

      Alison June 11, 2010 at 13:09

      Hey, that’s a good idea. I’ll try to do a post on that either here or on the photoblog. The biggest tip is don’t use your flash. Find some nice natural light instead. The flash (especially on small point and shoot cameras) makes things really contrasty and makes food look to ‘shiny’.

  3. Comment by yemek tarifleri

    yemek tarifleri November 17, 2010 at 21:47

    Very nice article. Thank you.

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