During my London years I discovered a cheese completely different from everything I’ve had before : The Halloumi.
I say “discovered” because, believe it or not, nobody eats halloumi in France!
Even though Lebanon and France are very close countries and cultures, you eat “at the Lebanese” more often in London, and if you eat in a Lebanese restaurant in France, it is unlikely that you will find Halloumi on the menu.
Well, it’s a shame if you ask me, because Halloumi is such a wonderful cheese “from Cyprus with love” as my Cypriot friends/flatmate use to say.
You may still find some in little local shops that will sell “exotic” things such as Halloumi, Hummus or Tzatzíki – also called an everyday snack in England.
We’ve found ours in the wonderful shopping center in Porte Maillot called Les Galleries Gourmandes where you can find all sort of fancy expensive things from around the world (if you are an expat in Paris and feel home-sick, this is the place to visit).
So we’ve decided to enjoy the Halloumi as pure as we could in order to fully enjoy its taste, so here is a simple salad to accompany the Cypriot Cheese.
- Rocket Salad and Corn Salad
- Black Olives
- Pine Nuts
- Olive Oil
- Little Savory Biscuits
- Optional Dried Tomato (I live with one of the 43 persons in France who do not like tomatoes)
Cut the Halloumi into little slices (about 1cm)
Remove the stone from your black olives and cut them in little pieces
I really enjoy the little pine nuts, so I have added few in my salad base, but it is advisable to roast them a bit with your Halloumi for additional taste.
Finally, I have added small pieces of savoury biscuit (rosemary and thyme flavoured) in the salad to add some crunchiness.
There are several way to cook Halloumi such as oven, BBQ and a hot pan.
I went for the hot pan, low heat (4/6) add olive oil, some thyme and finally your slices of Halloumi that you will leave to cook till you obtain a nice brown color. Halloumi Cheese is one of the rare cheeses that do not melt.
Once cooked to the correct brown shade add the halloumi, still hot on top of your salad and serve it hot!
If you are in Paris and fancy some halloumi in a more calorific way, we used TOK TOK TOK, a courier service, to deliver those naughty Veggie Burger full of Halloumi.
Achtung! Achtung! Those burgers contain Mushrooms, the worst thing that ever happened to planet earth, but the halloumi is so good that you can even remove the mushrooms without vomiting and eat the burger. As a reminder, Mushrooms are evil.