Make it. Eat it. Love it.
Every salad I seem to eat in Israel has Halloumi on it. Be it fried, grilled or plain (usually fried) it makes an appearance in many Israeli dishes and has made its way up to the top of my ‘favorite cheeses’ list.
It wasn’t until I moved to Israel that I even heard of Halloumi cheese. It hails from Cyprus and is a semi hard cheese, mild in flavor, that is usually made up of goat and sheep’s milk. The high melting point of the cheese makes it a perfect (and delicious) choice for frying or grilling.
I picked up a package of this salty cheese in the super for the first time since living here and it had been sitting in my fridge for quite some time waiting till I figured out what I wanted to do with it. Luckily for me, Halloumi cheese usually comes wrapped and sealed in plastic and has a shelf life longer then most cheeses.
This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit and aside from being absolutely beautiful (look at the colors!) it tastes amazing. I opted to broil instead of grill my tomatoes and fry instead of grill the Halloumi cheese. I also kept the dressing as is instead of pressing it out and just using the oils. I liked having the bits of mint and basil on the salad. It was perfect. My husband and I had it for lunch and after devouring it in sheer minutes, we eyed each other over the last piece of Halloumi that sat on the plate waiting for the showdown to see who would get to eat it. Yes, it is that good. The simple and short list of ingredients make up a combination of flavors that dance on your taste buds. You will find yourself wishing you had more of it or kept it all to yourself without sharing.
This salad is the perfect summer salad, side dish, BBQ addition or poolside treat. The Halloumi is best when eaten right out of the fry pan because the inside is still warm enough to melt in your mouth after biting into it.
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1 pound cherry tomatoes
1 package of Halloumi cheese, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 of a watermelon, cut into small triangles
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat broiler to 400F.
Add basil, mint, garlic and oil to a food processor and pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread tomatoes out on an oiled baking sheet and brush with a bit of the basil/mint mixture.
Cook in broiler until tomatoes start to burst and char.
Remove tomatoes from oven and set aside.
In a fry pan heat vegetable oil over medium high heat.
Dredge Halloumi chunks in flour and add to hot frying pan.
Cook Halloumi until golden, turning once, about 4 minutes.
Arrange watermelon on a serving dish and top with tomatoes and fried Halloumi.
Top with more of the basil/mint mixture.