Grilled Halloumi Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Halloumi-Salad-8I’m so in love with Halloumi these days that I considered changing the name of this blog to “Figs & Halloumi”… but I’ve since re-evaluated the situation and decided against it.

Halloumi-Salad-9So… it’s summer, and I’m out of the City. I’m visiting California and I have a grill at my disposal, by a pool.  A grill. By a pool. Therefore, I’m excited to say I’ll be doing a lot of grill-testing in the next few weeks. Halloumi was something I’ve been testing in my mind for a loooooooooog time. I’m very happy to announce:  Now that I have a grill at my at my fingertips I’ve tried it in “real-life” and I’m in love!

Halloumi-Salad-12-550-with-textA bit of history:  Halloumi is a traditional Cypriot cheese.  It combines the texture of mozzarella with the brine and moisture of feta cheese.  Halloumi is very versatile; it can be served fresh but when grilled it creates an incredibly addicting rich buttery flavor.

Using some seasonal ingredients like heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers and fresh basil I decide to try a Citrus Vinaigrette inspired by a recipe from Bon Appétit instead of a traditional Oil-Vinegar-Salt-Pepper dressing, and boy was I happy with the end result.

Heirloom tomatoes add amazing color but traditional red grape tomatoes will work just fine. I’m also partial to English cucumbers as they don’t have those pesky sometimes-bitter seeds, but again, any cucumber will do. Check your local Mediterranean grocery store for Halloumi, and if you can’t find it Mozzarella can stand-in as a substitue (but try to find Halloumi!!)

A glass of white wine and a loaf of fresh bread will round out this summery meal.  I enjoyed mine poolside, I suggest you do the same if you are able. Enjoy!

RECIPE:

Citrus Vinaigrette:

1 shallot, minced

¾ cup olive oil

¼ cup Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

¼ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

¼ teaspoon finely gated orange zest

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

Salad:

1 – 8-ounce chunk Halloumi Cheese

2 cups mini-Heirloom tomatoes, sliced in half or quarters

1 cup English cucumbers, sliced in half-moons

Fresh Basil, julienned

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare the Citrus Vinaigrette:

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a small jar.  Season with salt and pepper and shake to blend.  This can be made up to 1 week ahead.  Shake well before serving.

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Grill the Halloumi:

Slice the Halloumi into slices, about 1 cm thick.  Brush with a little olive oil to prevent sticking to the grill.  Place the slices on a very hot grill, give the slices about 2-3 minutes on each side.  Remove from grill and allow to cool for a minute.

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Chop or tear the halloumi cheese with your hands and toss with tomatoes, cucumbers and about ½ of the jar of Citrus Vinaigrette.

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Top with fresh basil and serve immediately, by the pool.

With plenty of dressing left over, this recipe serves 4 people and is perfect as a side salad or an appetizer.

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©2014 by Alexandra Salidas Roll, Figs & Feta, LLC.

Recipe and photos by Alexandra Salidas Roll of Figs & Feta, LLC.  Please do not reprint this recipe without permission.  If you would like to feature this recipe on your blog or site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link your post to this one as the original source.  Thank you!


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