Grilled Halloumi Cheese with Cherry Relish

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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? 

Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 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

Directions:

  1. Add 1 Tbs of olive oil to a frying pan, grill pan or grill and heat on medium high.
  2. 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).
  3. Cook cheese for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.  Remove to a paper towel.
  4. 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.
  5. In one bowl, combine the cherries, mint and half of the dressing.  Toss to coat.
  6. In a separate bowl, toss the remaining dressing with the arugula until coated.
  7. 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.

Enjoy!

 

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