Confession: I’ve never a met a cheese I didn’t like. But it wasn’t until only a year or two ago that I came into contact with my absolute favorite: Halloumi.
What is Halloumi cheese? It’s a semi-hard brined cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk, and sometimes cow’s milk. It is salty and delicious and has a high melting point so is great for frying or grilling. Often described as a “squeaky” cheese for it’s texture, it gets nice and toasty on the outside and slightly softened on the inside. It is heaven.
I’ve noticed it’s available in stores and restaurants much more in New York than when I was living on the west coast. I actually first heard about it after reading I Quit Sugar, and once I tried it I was immediately obsessed.
It is incredible served simply grilled in olive oil and drizzled with a little bit of honey, but I wanted to created a dish that was a little more complex that still played into the salty and sweet combination.
With all the gorgeous stone fruit in season, I decided to make a cherry relish of sorts with some fresh mint and citrus, all served over a bed of arugula for some pepperiness – recipe after the jump!
Have you tried Halloumi cheese? What’s your favorite way to serve it?
- I square block package of Halloumi cheese
- 1 cup of fresh cherries, pitted and halved
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs honey
- Add 1 Tbs of olive oil to a frying pan, grill pan or grill and heat on medium high.
- Slice the block of Halloumi cheese into 1/2 inch slices. Once pan/grill is hot, add a few slices of cheese, being careful not to overcrowd the pan (you will likely have to do two or three batches).
- Cook cheese for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking together the juice from the lemons, the 1/4 cup olive oil, and the honey. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- In one bowl, combine the cherries, mint and half of the dressing. Toss to coat.
- In a separate bowl, toss the remaining dressing with the arugula until coated.
- To plate, place some of the dressed arugula on a plate. Top with a few slices of cheese and spoon the cherry mixture over the top. I like to finish mine with a few extra sprinkles of mint and salt and pepper.