Halloumi originated in Cyprus and has been made since the Medieval Byzantine period (AD 395 – 1191). A firm, slightly springy white cheese from Cyprus, traditionally made with sheep’s’ milk, mass produced versions often uses cows’ milk. In texture, halloumi is similar to a firm mozzarella, making it a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking. It has a strong salty flavor, when preserved in brine. Halloumi will keep in the refridgerator for many months if left unopened or frozen for up to a year. It can be eaten straight from the packet, but some chefs recommend soaking it in buttermilk for a day or two to give it a richer, less salty flavor. Halloumi has a very high melting point, so it is perfect for grilling it without it melting. There is no need to bread or flour the cheese before frying, and you don’t even need to use oil in the pan. The cheese browns naturally from the sugar in the brine and keeps it shape. Halloumi is often flavored with dried mint, which goes perfect with grilled peaches and red peppers during the summer months. Some of our favorite ways of eating Halloumi are listed below. Visit us this summer for your taste. Florida Cheese Club or Fratello Sole
Fried Halloumi with broiled cherry tomatoes and watermelon.
Arugula Apple and Halloumi Salad
Grilled Halloumi with Rosemary Grape Relish on crostini’s
Grilled Halloumi and grilled Meyer Lemons with greens
Grilled Halloumi with Kiwi, navel orange sections, capers and honey
Grilled Halloumi, grilled eggplant and pesto burgers
Grilled Halloumi with caramelized fennel
Grilled Halloumi with green olives and cannellini beans
Grilled Halloumi, beetroot and pumpkin seeds with lemon salad
Fried Halloumi with Pear and Spiced Dates.
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom (only black seeds from within the green pod)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 8 dates, cut in half and pits removed
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ¾ pound halloumi cheese cut into 8 slices
- 1 pear, quartered, seeded and sliced into 8 pieces
- 3 tablespoons ouzo
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a small sauté pan, big enough to hold the dates, mix the lemon juice, lemon zest, and brown sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the brown sugar melts. Add the spices and dates and cook until the dates soften a little, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and set the mixture aside,
3. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Arrange the cheese slice in the skillet, being careful not to overlap or crowd them. Brown the cheese, about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown on each side. Transfer to a heavy gratin or baking dish, placing the halloumi slices side by side.
4. Using the same sauté pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium-high heat and then add the pears. Brown the pears for 4 to 5 minutes on one side. Remove the pears from the pan and add them to the baking pan with the halloumi. Spoon a date onto each piece of halloumi and place the pan in the oven until it gets hot and the cheese gets a little softer. 6 to 8 minutes.
5. Remove the pan from the oven, place it on the table, and without waiting, add the ouzo to the pan and carefully ignite it. Stand back when you light the dish, as the flames can reach 5 inches. The fire will bum off the alcohol, and after about a minute, it will leave the sweet flavor of the ouzo.