My affinity for halloumi came late. As with lots of people, my first few experiences with it was beyond unpalatable – they were cold, dense, rubbery superflous additions to salads. I mean I still don’t like it cold, I don’t get why people eat the stuff cold. Anyway, then I discovered grilled halloumi.
When halloumi is heated, instead of it melting and becoming stringy like other cheeses, it becomes soft and silky, and if you do it well with a thin crispy curst. I’m salivating right now.
Cheeses melt becasue of the loosening of the protein structure, and that’s affected by a variety of factors including acidity, fat and moisture. With a low acid cheese like halloumi, the proteins are more resistant to heat, thus they have a higher melting point. It’s interesting because it’s one of the few cheeses made without adding any acid in the process (usually).
So I felt like treating myself and I bought a big pack of halloumi. I’ve started going to the gym. I don’t think it’s doing me any good in that it’s just making me hungrier so whatever I lose in the actual work out is offset by all the extra calories I’m taking in. I mean I went to the gym in the morning before purchasing the big pack of halloumi and half of it was consumed at lunch on my own as per this recipe and the other half in a couple of hours as a snack. I was hungry and lazy so i ate it cold, and, as always, spectacularly underwhelming.
6 1cm slices halloumi cheese
1 large courgette
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 garlic clove
green beans, ends cut
A handful of mint leaves
Bring a small pot of salted water to the boil to blanch the green beans for a few minutes until just cooked.
Heat olive oil in a pan over low heat and add smashed garlic. Leave it to infuse while you do the other prep.
Add cumin to pan, remove garlic and turn heat up to medium high. When fragrant, season halloumi slices with salt and pepper then add them to the pan and fry for a few minutes on each side until golden brown on both sides.
Remove from pan and reserve. Add courgette and green beans to the pan to heat through.
Serve with shredded mint leaves and drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.