After having kept my eye on it for quite some time already, I finally bought my first Halloumi cheese. If only the price wasn't such a robbery, it could become a regular guest here.
Bright white, firm and with layered texture, easily falling apart at some places, rubbery, smooth, a little bit squeaky, mild, very salty - my first expressions.
Halloumi originates from Cyprus and is traditionally made of a combination of sheep's and goat's milk, but nowadays cow's milk is often added. An important fact is that Halloumi can be cooked and fried and grilled and it's still got its own shape - it won't melt because of its high melting point.
Halloumi's really salty taste is nice in salads, but not so much when eaten as a snack. To get rid of the salty taste, I soaked it in water overnight, changing the water once. My idea was to marinate the cheese for a lovely finger snack and and so it sat in the fridge for one more day. One too long day.
Mediterranean style marinated Halloumi
150 g Halloumi cheese
3 tsp pesto
3/4 dl olive oil
5 sun-dried tomatoes
1. Cut the cheese into bite-size rectangles. If you wish to reduce the salty taste, soak the pieces in water overnight.
2. Chop the tomatoes into tiny bits and combine with pesto and oil. Add the cheese and let it marinate for at least one day in the fridge.
So, a small bowlful of marinated cheese. What now? To make snacks, drain the Halloumi and dry it - tiny bits of pesto and tomatoes will make these bites colourful. The cheese can also be used in salads, the marinade will act as salad dressing (I used some with sweet potato salad and added some yoghurt). Halloumi fried in the marinade can be added to all kinds of dishes - I just served it simple on a toast with some cream cheese and chinese cabbage.
The marinated cheese has quite a lot of taste. I wonder if I could preserve it in a jar for a longer period to make it more intense. Halloumi is a cheese that stays fresh by itself for a long time too. Oh thank you, Cyprus.