A Summer Salad with Grilled Halloumi

59 Comments

Halloumi is an interesting cheese that hails from Greece, or Cypress, more specifically. It has a unique, almost rubbery-dense texture, and a salty flavor. I sometimes wonder why I enjoy it!

My favorite cheeses are by far softer cheeses, especially Époisses, Reblochon, Raclette, Saint Felicien, and Brie, which all are French and cow’s milk-based.

But being an equal opportunity cheese lover, I embrace all cheeses, no matter the hardness and the milk source. My only exception is Casu Marzu, a cheese I refused to eat when in Corsica. Funny story if you’re not squeamish.

Haloumi was originally made from goat and sheep milk, but the only one I can find locally is made with cows’ milk. The cheese is unique in that it has a high melting point, so it can be grilled or even fried, without the cheese melting.

Halloumi has many different names, including grilling cheese, bread cheese, Leipäjuusto, and Finish Squeaky cheese. No matter the name, they are all a semi-hard, unripened brined cheeses.

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When making salads during the summer months, my go-to cheese is feta. It’s flavorful and goes so well with vegetables and vinaigrettes.

But adding Halloumi to a salad goes beyond crumbling some cheese on top of a salad. It’s so meaty in texture that it’s almost like a meat substitute.

For today’s salad, I used simple salad ingredients, grilled Halloumi, and a parsley vinaigrette.

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I began by adding some mixed greens, grated carrots, quartered tomatoes and toasted pine nuts to two plates. There were some sliced sweet chile peppers saved for serving time.

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The parsley vinaigrette was made with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, salt, and as much flat-leafed parsley that I could shove into the little blender!

To prepare the cheese, I heated a grill over high heat, brushed with a small amount of olive oil. I sliced the 10 ounce slab of cheese horizontally, then in to 12 pieces. I placed the slices of cheese in the hot grill, and as soon as they warmed and had grill stripes, I placed the slices on the salads.

I topped the salads with the chile pepper slices and served the salads while the cheese was still warm.

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The parsley vinaigrette added freshness to the salad, without overpowering the mild-flavored cheese.

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It’s interesting how firm the cheese remains, even when warm. You definitely need a knife if you serve the Halloumi cheese in strips or slices.

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If you’ve never experienced Halloumi, or bread cheese, I highly suggest giving it a try. It will never replace a good Brie, but it’s not supposed to!

59 thoughts on “A Summer Salad with Grilled Halloumi

  1. Looks very delicious, I love halloumi, and I’m going to try your parsley vinaigrette – I’m always on the lookout for new ones that aren’t too acidic and this sounds like just the thing.

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      • I have sooooo much of it in the garden and my children just pick it and nibble. So it’s a no brainer here…thanks for the great idea!! Curious, what do you see as the main difference between flat and curly parsley?

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      • none. Most people say that Italian parsley has more flavor, but I’ve actually nibbled on both, and I can’t tell the difference. So I use curly parsley just as often as flat-leaf. And if anything, I’ve had some flat-leaf that was just bland. Of course, it probably depends on the source, and many other things…..

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  2. That parsley vinaigrette is a stroke of genius! It brings the whole dish to life and I’ll bet it danced on the tongue. Lovely. And I agree with you about parsley: if you pick it fresh from the garden there’s no taste difference, imho. Lx

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  3. I actually love halloumi and this salad is so visually beautiful Mimi – I’ll definitely make this.
    I do remember that story about the disgusting maggoty cheese. I’ll at least try most things, but I would never be able to stomach that!

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  4. There are very few cheese I don’t like, and halloumi is wonderful. I particularly like it as an ingredient in a salad — such a nice way to use it, don’t you think? This looks wonderful — thanks.

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  5. Holy crap, I haven’t had Halloumi since I was in Cyprus 6 years ago – and I live 15 minutes from a Carr Valley Cheese outlet shop! Thanks for letting me know where/how I can find this, Mimi! You’re an inspiration.

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    • I “grilled” some last night for friends, and I just used a cast iron skillet. It worked perfectly. I think for the blog I wanted the grill marks! Totally unecessary!

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  6. Halloumi sounds nice. In Italian cooking we make something similar with smoked or unsmoked scamorza, grilled or griddled over greens and sometimes topped with a slice of prosciutto or a few anchovy fillets. One of my favorite quick meals–which we had just last night, as a matter of fact. I’ll have to try halloumi to see how it compares..

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  7. I’m looking into some new salad recipes that will work in my new, very serious diet. The parsley vinaigrettes sounds perfect and I love bread cheese. Thank you so much!
    RuthAnn Ridley, inspiringcuisine.com

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