Today we’re spreading the LOVE with a guest post from Rachel Stinson. She reached out to me with a post about halloumi, a cheese with which I was unfamiliar with and excited to learn about. Halloumi /həˈluːmi/ or hellim is a Cypriot semi-hard, unripened brined cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk, and sometimes also cow’s milk. It has a high melting point and so can easily be fried or grilled. (Wikipedia)
Rachel Stinson has always had a knack for writing, food, fashion, and places. Blogging has combined all four for her with an added bonus of enthusiastic audiences. She expertly analyzes real estates and restaurants with respect to pricing and people involved and can express her opinions in an unhesitant, engaging manner.
Without further ado, here is her recipe!
I’m going to start with a rant, a cheese-o-phile’s rant. It resulted from my last trip to the supermarket. I strolled my way through lofty racks stacked up to the brim with tempting confectioneries and gloriously tinned food. As I approached the cheese section, my heart skipped a beat. I was almost tempted to grab four to five of those yellow cheese blocks wrapped in flashy packaging and toss them in my cart.
But, I didn’t. I felt a sadness descend me as I realized the disturbing monotony wrapped in the name of ‘cheese’. I had tasted all of these brands and they all tasted the same to me. I needed something purer, cruder, and closer to unique hand-crafted cheese. I needed something like the splendid cheese I had once tasted at Operation Falafel, Dubai. That’s when I found Halloumi.
It was love at first bite and now I am addicted to this Cypriot cheese for life. It’s still largely saved from adulteration and carries the true taste and essence of the ‘cooked curd’ cheese category. For this very reason, I use Halloumi in lots of my cheese recipes. My favorite one I’ll share with you:
HALLOUMI WITH GRIDDLED VEGETABLES
225 g Halloumi cheese
100 g frozen broad beans
2 courgettes (zucchini)
1 small bunch of asparagus
1 Tbs. capers
½ bunch of flat leaf parsley
200 g ripe cherry tomatoes
½ bunch of sweet marjoram or oregano
2 Tbs. olive oiL
Shake together all the dressing ingredients in a clean, dry jar. Once thoroughly mixed, put the jar aside.
Boil the broad beans for 5 minutes or until soft. Drain out the boiled water and pass beans under cold water to cool them off. Once you can comfortably touch then, peel off the beans’ white outer skin.
Cut the Halloumi into slices a width and shape of your choice. Trim off unnecessary asparagus leaves. Slice together asparagus and the courgettes longitudinally. And let loose some olive oil over the three.
Get your griddle pan warmed up over high heat. Toss in the Halloumi, asparagus, and courgettes drenched in olive oil. Cook until they are nicely charred and emanating a tantalizing aroma. Then, set them aside in the same pan.
It’s time to cut the shallots into rings and halve the tomatoes. Then pick a flat platter and layer by layer add the shallots, the tomatoes, and the griddled mixture of Halloumi, asparagus, and courgettes.
Fine chop the fresh herbs to sprinkle with the luscious dressing.
Halloumi with Griddled Vegetables tastes even better with friends. So, as much as you want to savor the entire platter all by yourself, call over some cheese lovers and have a grand Halloumi party. Thank me later.
(Photo credits: Shutterstock)