An All-Rounder for Classic and Modern Recipes
Halloumi cheese is an important part of Cypriot culture, and has found worldwide popularity. The soft cheese – made from sheep or goat milk – is a real all-rounder. It is used for both classic and modern recipes, and can be part of savory dishes like burgers and wraps, or sweet creations such as fruit salads.
Halloumi – is a delicious and versatile product that has a distinctive texture and is fantastic both cold and cooked (grilled or fried). In fact, it is unlikely that you will not encounter this cheese on your visit to the island, whether it is in a sandwich, as part of a traditional ‘meze’ or at breakfast!
Halloumi is made in special large bronze containers where, after adding the rennet, the milk curds are removed from the heat, strained very well and then wrapped in a piece of cloth with a heavy object placed on top to squeeze out any remaining whey.
The cheese is then cut into pieces and submerged once again into hot whey until it rises to the surface. The pieces are then taken out of the container and placed in salt and mint, folded in two and left to cool. It is finally submerged once again into hot whey.
Halloumi cheese has been approved as a PDO cheese in 2021, so only cheese manufactured in Cyprus to the traditional recipe can be labeled and called Halloumi. This unique cheese of Cyprus is ideal for Grilling and Frying and it’s also a tasty vegetarian cheese! Halloumi is exported from Cyprus to consumers in 40 countries all over the world, and has become one of the top 5 cheeses with the highest increase in demand and consumption!
First, slice the halloumi into 1/2-inch-thick planks.Drizzle the planks with olive oil and use your hands to coat them on both sides. While you prep the halloumi, preheat an outdoor grill or grill pan.You want it to be nice and hot when you add the cheese! This helps prevent sticking.
Finally, grill the halloumi.Cook it until grill marks form on both sides. This shouldn’t take long – just 2 to 3 minutes per side. That’s it!
How to Serve Grilled Halloumi
- As an appetizer. Set it out with sliced baguette, fresh herbs, and a tasty sauce for drizzling. I like it with mint and Greek dressing or, for a yummy sweet and savory combo, honey.
- In a salad. Make an unconventional Caprese salad with grilled halloumi cheese instead of mozzarella. It’d be great in a panzanella or Greek salad, too! You can also find it in this cucumber and tomato salad recipe.
- In a sandwich. Try it in the Charred Cauliflower Pitas with Halloumi & Harissa on page 211 of Love & Lemons Every Day, or sub it in for the fresh mozzarella in these Caprese sandwiches. I also love a sandwich with the cheese, grilled eggplant and zucchini, grilled onions, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and romesco sauce.
- In a bowl. Pair it with cilantro lime rice or coconut rice, black beans, and a fruity salsa like mango salsa, pineapple salsa, or peach salsa. Add drizzles of my cilantro lime dressing to tie it all together. A bowl with grilled halloumi, cooked farro or couscous, roasted tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, olives, and Greek dressing is great too.