Thursday, July 10, 2014

Haloumi salad

This is another recipe that isn't quite a recipe. It doesn't have to be. The quantities that I give are very imprecise.  It will come out good whatever you do.  Haloumi is a Cypriot cheese, usually made from goat or sheep's milk and looks and tastes something like feta, with less funk. Because it is low in acid, it behaves very differently from most cheeses under heat.  Its melting temperature is very high, so that you can fry or grill it and it will hold its shape and brown.  It is very popular in Israel and elsewhere in the Middle East. Now that it is available in lots of supermarkets, even Trader Joe's, there is no excuse not to make it.

It is good fried by itself, added to shakshuka, or on a sandwich with grilled vegetables.  My favorite way toeat it however is in this simple salad.  Tomatoes, basil, haloumi, olive oil.  No vinegar.  The Catalans never add vinegar to tomatoes,  because they think that they already have sufficient acid. They are onto something.

Haloumi Salad

  • Dice about 3/4 pound ripe tomatoes.  If you are using cherry tomatoes, halve them. Place on a platter and salt very lightly.
  • Wash and chop a large handful of basil. You should have a half cup or so. Scatter it over the tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Slice a block of haloumi, about 1/2 pound, and fry on high heat in a nonstick skillet until browned, about 3 minutes on a side.
  • Put the haloumi on top of the tomatoes and basil, grind a little pepper on it, and serve at once.  Your first forkful will be significantly better than your second, so don't leave it around.
  • You can add avocado or cucumber if you want, but why mess with perfection?
  • Serves four as an appetizer or side salad, 2 for lunch.

1 comment:

  1. So good roasted and then put on sour dough bread.