It's so much easier to eat and digest light meals like a nice cold salad for any meal during the day, that I had to put this recipe up as soon as I remembered it.
Halloumi is a very salty cheese, which originated in Cyprus and is made from goat milk, sheep milk, or a combination of both and even cow milk,; used mainly in the Middle Eastern, Greek and Turkish cuisines.
The only trouble with halloumi cheese is that you need to have a developed taste for it. You can't eat it once and rush to a conclusion of 'you love it' or ' you hate it' and would never touch it again. It is firm, salty and a bit rubbery, perhaps most comparable to a thick feta, though the taste is certainly unique. When cooked, the saltiness fades into a very strong savoury bite, with a slightly creamy texture.
It's a lovely cheese, slightly thicker than paneer and very very salty! So whenever you are using it in any recipe, be careful with the salt proportions. or if you want to reduce the salt in the cheese, soak it in water for about 5 - 10 minutes, or more depending on how you salty you would like it to be.
Because it maintains its shape when cooked, halloumi can be baked, fried or grilled until the outside becomes crisp and golden and the inside melts slightly.
Or, as in traditional Cypriot cuisine, halloumi slices can be had with water melon too.
15 - 30 Minutes
2 Portions (entrée bowls)
Basil Leaves, fresh
Pasta (Fusilli, macaroni/ shell pasta
Halloumi Cheese *
2 - 3 tbsp
4 - 8 Slices, or as per liking
Leaving aside 1tsp of olive oil, in a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lemon rind, salt and pepper. Set aside.
Boil the pasta in water with some salt and oil, till it's well done. Drain, and refresh with cold water to avoid over cooking.
Cut the tomatoes into chunks, and finely cut the cucumber into matchstick size. Wash the basil and parsley leaves. Roughly chop the parsley leaves and tear the basil leaves.
Add the olives and the boiled pasta to the cut vegetables and toss well.
Put the salad in a serving plate.
On a non stick pan, heat 1tsp olive oil and grill the cheese slices on both sides till they are golden brown.
Place the slices on the salad and sprinkle the sesame seeds.
Serve with the Lemon Vinaigrette
If halloumi isn't easily available or you don't like the taste, it can be easily substituted with Paneer or any other cheese that can be grilled.