A while back in our local market, I happened upon an item in the cheese case that I hadn’t noticed before: Halloumi Cheese. What caught my eye was the tag line: The Cheese That Grills.
This delicious firm sheep’s milk cheese hails from the island nation of Cyprus and its makers advertize it as combining the texture of mozzarella with the brine moisture of feta…and it is, indeed, somewhat salty.
Amazingly, you really can grill it; it doesn’t melt on the griddle or grate. What it does is brown, like a pancake, and it’s delicious.
I’ve been tossing a couple of slices of Halloumi on the griddle in the morning to serve, drizzled with just a squirt of sugar-free maple syrup alongside the eggs and bacon we have most days for breakfast. It takes the place of low carb toast, tortillas, or pancakes as a dauber of egg yolks when I cook them sunny side up or poached. And the balance of the salty cheese with the sweet syrup is, to my palate at any rate, just lovely.
The makers recommend grilling, then squeezing on a bit of fresh lemon juice and scattering capers over it as a warm appetizer, which sounds scrumptious, too, but I haven’t yet tried that.
What I have tried is using it fresh in the traditional Cypriot salad: cut the cheese into cubes and combine with wedges of fresh tomato, chunks of cucumber, black olives, onions, and green bell peppers, dressed simply with olive oil, vinegar, black pepper, and dried oregano. You don’t even need any salt, because the cheese is plenty salty enough.
Give it a try if you, like we, are always in the market for something new and savory to try. It shouldn’t be hard to find. If you can’t find it in your market, ask your grocer; chances are he or she can get it for you.