Halloumi is a Cypriot semi-hard cheese which is brined in salt. It absorbs other flavours and because it is firm and meaty it makes a good substitute for meat. This spicy version can be served as a starter with steamed asparagus and Roast Cherry Tomatoes with Balsamic Dressing and at breakfast with an egg and a fried tomato.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 x 250g packets of halloumi cheese, each block cut into 4 slices
Mixed leaves or rocket leaves
1-2 teaspoons chilli oil
1. Fry the halloumi slices in a little oil on both sides in a non-stick pan until golden and starting to melt. Put the salad leaves on a large plate, and lay out the halloumi. Drizzle with chilli oil.
Halloumi Recipe note
– Remove the halloumi slices before they melt or they will collapse. Dust them with flour before cooking to help them to keep their shape.
– For breakfast, drizzle a little chilli oil on the halloumi,then dust it with flour, shaking off the excess. Fry in olive oil and serve with fried eggs and fried tomatoes for a traditional Cypriot-style breakfast.
– Use a spoon of curry oil from a jar of curry paste instead of chilli oil or fry a sliced red chilli in the olive oil before you add the halloumi. You can also marinate the halloumi in a spoon or two of olive oil oil and a sprinkling of dried oregano or mint and leave it in the fridge on a covered plate ready to cook later.
– Make middle-eastern halloumi: roll the slices of halloumi in olive oil which you have mixed with za’atar and sumac. Cook until golden on both sides and serve with Roast Tomatoes with Anchovies and Thyme or Roast Tomatoes with Thyme and Sea Salt and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses (you’ll pick it up in the middle-eastern shops, good delis – where it is often dearer – and at some supermarkets).
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