The halloumi hype is true! Unripened, brined cheese made from sheep's milk grills like a dream, NO BREAD REQUIRED! Throw the cheese directly on the grill.
Grilled cheese salad is made with halloumi cheese (more on that later). Soft grilled cheese with a homemade garlic and oregano chimichurri atop fresh spinach leaves tossed in EVOO and lemon juice sounds simple enough. But wait until you taste it!
Have you tried halloumi yet? Halloumi is sheep or goat milk cheese that has a high melting point because it's made differently that most cheese we know. It can be grilled or fried without losing its shape. And, it's delicious!
Halloumi, which originated in Cyprus, starts with raw milk. Then rennet, a complex set of stomach enzymes from the animal, is used to curdle the milk. But unlike other cheese, acid-producing bacteria is absent from the process. The result is a salty, squeaky cheese the can take the heat.
The cheese's heat resistance comes from a built-up tolerance, so to speak. Before the cheese is shaped and immersed in brine, it's heated. Be sure to buy authentic farmer's halloumi that's made from 100% sheep or goat milk. Some commercial varieties contain cow's milk. Just read the package.
Now to make this amazing salad, follow this quick and easy recipe. Let's go!
LFG Grilled Cheese Salad
2 Slices of Halloumi (1/2-inch thick)
1 Huge Handful of Fresh Spinach
1/4 C Grated Carrots
1 Slice Red Onion
1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 T Lemon Juice
LFG Garlic and Oregano Chimichurri
1/4 C Fresh Oregano Leaves
1/4 C Fresh Parsley Leaves
1 Garlic Clove
1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 t Lemon Juice
1/4 t Sriracha
1 Tiny Pinch Salt
Step 1: Make the Chimichurri
In a small food processor, add all the chimichurri ingredients and pulse until herbs and garlic are chopped finely and all the mixture is emulsified. Set aside.
Step 2: Toss the Spinach Salad
In a medium bowl, toss spinach leaves, sliced red onion, and julienned carrots in olive oil and lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Step 3: Grill the Halloumi
I use a panini press opened flat on the counter, so I can grill in the middle of all the kitchen action. But go ahead and use whatever grill you have. You can brush the cheese with a little olive oil before grilling to prevent sticking. Set the thick cheese slices directly onto the hot grill. Grill each side for about three minutes or until the grill marks are dark golden brown and the cheese is very soft to touch.
Step 4: Plate the Dish
Onto the center of a cold salad plate, pile the tossed spinach salad high. Place the grilled cheese on top. Spoon chimichurri on top of the cheese. Garnish with parsley and a lemon wedge.
Pair with a glass of bubbly and a floating raspberry. ENJOY!