Spring tapas: Grilled haloumi with watermelon and caramelised balsamic
I’ve always liked haloumi and often use it in salads or lightly fried and dressed with lemon zest oil, but recently I discovered this particular watermelon pairing at gallon. – our local wine bar.
Mr Chipconnoisseur is so in love with the warm saltiness of the cheese and sweet chilll of the watermelon, he has asked me to make some at home. He was so pleased with the result he said he would like to have this every day before dinner. Erm… ok?
Although not traditional to Spain itself, Haloumi has made it’s way into many of Sydney’s bars as a scrumptious option on the bar snack menu for inbetween refills or as an entree before a bigger meal. And so in that sense, it can probably be classed as a tapa, which literally means “to cover”, as it helps to cover the wait in between drinks.
And what a delicious and happy waiting it is…
Serves 1 – 4 (see notes below)
Grilled haloumi with watermelon cubes and caramelised balsamic
The idea here is to have 1 cube of watermelon plus garnish per slice of cheese, let’s call it a ‘set’. Recommendation is for 3 ‘sets’ per person. You can probably feed 4 people from 1 block of cheese.
- 1 block of haloumi cheese (go with a thick, folded over one such as Pittas)
- watermelon, cut into 2cm cubes
- caramelised balsamic vinegar*
- thinly shredded iceberg lettuce, 1 tsp per ‘set’ to garnish
- mayonnaise, to garnish
- (freshly ground black pepper)
Cut however many 0.5cm thick slices of cheese you require and prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Heat fry pan or grill to medium, and cook cheese until it starts to turn golden then flip over gently and heat up the other side. This process only takes a couple of minutes and you don’t want to overcook the cheese. It should feel slightly melted and soft on the inside.
Arrange each ‘set’ with 1 cube of watermelon drizzled with a couple of drops of caramelised balsamic, shredded iceberg and mayo placed in front of it and a warm slice of cheese in front of the lettuce. Sprinkle over with freshly ground black pepper if you like.
* Tip: if you don’t have caramelised balsamic, you can use 1 tsp balsamic blended with 2 tsp honey.
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