As much as possible, I challenge myself to use different ingredients with my recipes. A cheese I have often heard much about but never actually tasted or cooked with before has it’s origins in Cyprus. It’s called Halloumi (or is it Haloumi ? Apologies to my Cypriot readers!) and quite like any other cheese, it has a high melting point which means you can either grill it or fry it and it will maintain it’s shape. So given I wanted to participate in Jac’s NCR Challenge over on the Tinned Tomatoes Blog, I thought I would whip this recipe up before tomorrow’s deadline. The challenge involves making a “Leafless Salad” and I had toyed with putting in my Morrocan Salad but I had a few hours to kill and thought this would be equally suitable! If you are not familiar with Jac’s recipes from Tinned Tomatoes, you should pop on over and take a look. As well as some lip smackin’ recipes, she also has some nifty Blogging Tips.
I followed this recipe from BBC Olive Magazine and because I couldn’t find the correct ingredients at the time, I used a type of Green Lentil instead of Puy and Plum instead of Cherry Tomatoes.
I think if I were to try the recipe again I would replace the raw red onion with caramelised red onion and add a balsamic reduction to replace the lemon juice in the salad dressing.
So what did I think of the Halloumi cheese? For me it wasn’t as salty as Feta and the texture is completely different. I loved the crispy coating on the outside which gave way to a firm morsel of unripened cheese. I think to really benefit from it’s taste, it has to be served warm.
Have a try for yourself and see what you think. The lentils provide a hearty sustenance to the dish but try to use Puy Lentils as they are renowned for keeping their shape.
What dishes would you use with Halloumi? I’m keen to try others, so do let me know in the comments below!
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