Halloumi is a firm (semi-hard), and slightly springy, cheese traditionally made in Cyprus from goats’ or sheeps’ milk (although many modern mass-produced varieties use cows’ milk instead). It’s often preserved in brine, which gives it a stringy, salty flavour, and its high melting point means it is usually grilled or fried. It’s a very popular ingredient in Cyprus, Greece and much of the Middle East. Served with cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves, this simple salad would make the perfect side dish for a mezza or Greek platter.
- 250g halloumi, cut into thick slices
- 2-3tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 125g cherry tomatoes, halved
- a handful of basil leaves
Toss the halloumi with the olive oil and garlic until well coated then stir in the cherry tomatoes. Scatter with half the basil leaves, torn into fine shreds, and leave to marinade for 1 hour, if wished.
Cook the halloumi on a hot griddle until golden on both sides (they will brown very quickly, and only need a minute or so on each side). After turning the halloumi, add the cherry tomatoes and cook quickly on both sides.
Pour over the garlic-infused marinating oil and serve scattered with fresh basil leaves.
You don’t have to set this dish aside to marinate but, if you have the time, it helps the flavours to infuse.