Picture that typical Greek restaurant scene – the server brings a flaming pan to the table, douses the flames with a squirt of lemon and sets the saganaki before the guests while shouting “Opa!” When is the last time you had yourself some delicious fried cheese?
We often forget about halloumi cheese, it doesn’t get a lot of attention here in Canada for some reason. Halloumi goes so well with light spring veggies. Think of frying it up and serving with tender greenhouse lettuces and little petits pois or with shaved ham and pickled strawberries. You don’t have to set the pan on fire, it’s fine just lightly browned on each side and served with some crusty bread and a squeeze of lemon.
Jamie Oliver suggests grilling haloumi and tossing it with spinach and pasta in this recipe. Donna Hay’s recipe for halloumi is one of my favourites, and a one pot in the oven dinner’s done in 20 minutes affair – she takes boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thick slices of halloumi and places them in a casserole dish on parchment paper. Scatter the zest of one lemon over this and drizzle on some honey. Pop it in the oven and roast until done, then serve with salad – it is so delicious you won’t believe it.
At the River Cottage they use fried halloumi in place of feta for a spin on a Greek salad, the addition of mint to the salad makes it so nice for springtime. Another great recipe I found is this one on the blog Soni’s Food, where she grills halloumi and peaches – she finishes the dish with toasted coconut and honey making it a dessert, which would be very tasty, but I think I’d like to omit the last two ingredients and serve it as a side to pork chops – doesn’t that sound good?
Finally, my favourite halloumi recipe has to be this one and I can’t wait to make it when the first asparagus appear on the market. Ottolenghi’s recipe for Chargrilled Asparagus, Courgettes (Zucchini) and Halloumi is artfully dressed with a rich basil vinaigrette.