Halloumi is a Cypriot, firm, brined, white cheese traditionally made from a mixture of goat and sheep milk, but cow milk is also used these days. Its texture is similar to that of mozzarella except that it has a strong, salty flavour imbibed from the brine preserve. Cooking halloumi practically removes most of its saltness and empowers it with a creamy texture. Halloumi is always served in summer with some watermelon and it's an essential part of a Cyprus meze. The cheese also tastes lovely when grilled, pan-fried or thinly sliced on a salad.
Actually, it is a very versatile cheese. You can eat it in a sandwich with tomato and cucumber, you can grill it or fry it and serve it as a snack, you can grate it and serve it with pasta or you can use it as a topping for pizza. The only thing you can't do with it is boil it. In this recipe, I have grated halloumi and used it as the basic ingredient of haloumopita - a traditional cheese pie from Cyprus.
Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking time: 50 - 60 min
- 1 cup olive oil
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
- 3 cups grated halloumi cheese
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 cups flour
- Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add the milk and the olive oil.
- Add the mint and the halloumi and whisk with a whisker.
- Add the flour a little at a time and continue mixing using your hands till you get a homogeneous mixture.
- Brush a 34 cm (14 inches) baking tin with some olive oil and dust with flour. Pour in the mixture and bake at 180 C (356 F) for 50 minutes or till golden brown.
Recipe by Argiro Barbarigou