Friday, August 31, 2007

Warm Salad of Seasoned Grilled Halloumi and Victoria Plums

Whenever I try to explain the texture of halloumi to someone who's never tasted it before, more often than not, I get a puzzled look. Squeaky cheese? I must admit that when I first heard about halloumi, I also wasn't that enthusiastic about trying it- but like a true gourmet, I didn't hesitate to buy some when it first became available here. Now it's become one of my favorite cheeses! There are so many ways to serve it and so many flavors you can pair it with. Plus...what's better than a slice of grilled cheese?

A visit to the produce stall at the market last Wednesday inspired me to make a gorgeous, warm salad using victoria plums and halloumi. The halloumi was first drenched in a dressing before being grilled. The dressing consisted of good olive oil, lemon juice and one of my favorite spice mixes- Bed of Roses, which includes saffron, ginger, cumin, roasted garlic and rose petals. Both the halloumi and the plums are grilled in this salad. Just before serving, the dish is sprinkled with tiny mint leaves and finished off with a light drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of fleur de sel. For maximun enjoyment, each forkful should contain a little cheese, a bit of the warm fruit and perhaps a little mint leaf.

Here's the recipe:

Warm Salad of Seasoned Grilled Halloumi and Victoria Plums

*3 victoria plums
*3 slices halloumi of about 40g each
*1 tbsp good-quality olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
*2 tsps lemon juice
*1 tsp Bed of Roses
*mint leaves and fleur de sel to serve

Whisk oil, lemon juice and spice mix and transfer to a shallow bowl. Dip the halloumi slices in the dressing and let stand for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile cut the plums in half and remove the stones. Heat up your grill pan and grill the halloumi slices 2-3 minutes per side. When you flip them over, also add the plums to the pan, cut side down. Serve the grilled cheese and fruit on warmed plates with a scattering of mint leaves, a little oil and some fleur de sel.

Serves 2-3 as an appetizer.


Melanie said...

That looks delicious. Its making me hungry just looking at it. I can just imagine how wonderfully the haloumi and the grilled plums taste together. Yum!

Hillary said...

I have to say I really just like the word's fun to say! Haha, great photos and recipe...the grill marks are fantastic! :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Paola, it looks fantastic!
I'd gladly eat this and ask for seconds. ;)

I have never had haloumi (we do not find it here) but a friend of mine who lives abroad told me it's pretty similar to a type of cheese we have here called "queijo de coalho" - it's kept in brine, too, and squeaky!!

bri said...

You have such interesting and delicious posts. This dish sounds wonderfully gourmet and would make a very tasty first course. I love the idea of sitting on the patio eating bites of grilled halloumi and warm plums. Yum!

annauk said...

That looks yummy Paola - I love the way you seem to effortlessly throw wonderful plates of food together!


Anonymous said...

I can't wait to try this.


Paola said...

Hi guys!

Thanks for your comments! If you try it, let me know what you thought about it. :) Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did!


Kelly-Jane said...

Halloumi and plums? Well I'd never have thought of it, but I'd give it a try! Looks yummy :)

stacey said...

I recently tried halloumi and loved it (weird because I hate cheese!)...yeah, it's kind of rubbery/squeaky. looks gorgeous in your photos.