I’m not sure how familiar people are with Halloumi cheese. If you have never heard of it or tried it before, I highly suggest you do. It’s pretty fantastic. I was first introduced to halloumi at a cooking class I took with my mom many years ago. We have both been fans of it ever since.
Halloumi is a special kind of cheese because you can actually grill it and it won’t melt! I know that doesn’t really seem to make sense, but instead of melting, it warms up and gets a really nice crispy crust on it. Sometimes it is referred to as ‘squeaky’ cheese, because it gives a little squeak when you cut it or chew it. I think it makes it a little more fun to eat. It’s perfect to serve over salads or even use as a cracker-like base for appetizers.Taste-wise, halloumi reminds me vaguely of feta. It’s kinda salty, kinda tangy. It’s native of Cyprus, so being similar to a Greek cheese makes sense.
The only downside to halloumi is that, at least in these parts, it’s pretty pricy. Luckily we recently discovered the European Deli & Market here in Santa Barbara, which has tons of Russian, Eastern European, Greek, and Middle Eastern food at really good prices (especially for imports). I normally go there to get sour cherries and sauerkraut, but on my last trip I decided to check out the cold cases and what did I happen to see? Halloumi! For 3 bucks cheaper than any other store around here! Score!
Grilled Halloumi Salad
- 1 pack of Halloumi cheese, sliced into about 1/4 inch slices
- Arugula or baby mixed greens
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- Handful of kalamata olives, chopped
- 1 lemon
- Olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper