Monday, May 17, 2010

Grilled Haloumi Salad with Citrus Dressing (Gluten Free)

Haloumi, originating from Cyprus, Greece is one of the few cheeses that can be heated over fire and not lose its shape. It is a salty cheese, which would explain why it can be kept for up to a year in the fridge, sealed and unopened. Why anyone would do that, I have no idea. This is a cheese that is too irresistible not to eat over a crunchy green salad with a citrusy dressing.

Like mozzarella, it has the same type of rubbery and layered texture that should be kept in its water  to preserve its freshness. However, haloumi can be fried or grilled, which is really the way this cheese should be eaten as it's the tastiest that way. What makes this cheese so appealing when grilled or fried, is that it becomes crunchy on the outside, yet smooth and soft on the inside.

This is for ONE serving, so modify as you see fit.


Haloumi cheese, sliced into 2 inch rectangles
Large handful of fresh spinach or any other lettuce greens
1/2 cucumber, unpeeled and cubed
1 small carrot, slivered
1/2 avocado, pitted, and cubed
3 strawberries, stems removed and sliced thin
1 teaspoon sunflower seeds (for garnish)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (for garnish)

2 tablespoons Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice*
Salt to taste

* For this dressing, I used Trader Joe's Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar, which is a sweet citrusy vinegar made with muscat grapes and oranges.

  1. Layer the salad into the bowl as I have listed it in the ingredient list, starting with the spinach and topping off with the seeds. 
  2. In a medium size skillet, over high heat, spray olive oil. Place Haloumi cheese into skillet, and let brown for a few minutes on each side.
  3. Arrange the Haloumi cheese around the salad.

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