Flipping through the cookbook is one of our favourite things to do when we are out of ideas on what to make. During the circuit breaker, we purchased this cookbook, Antoni, in the Kitchen by Antoni Porowski. The first look of the cookbook is how dashing Antoni is, secondly we like how vibrant the dishes are just by flipping through them.
*side note: we got our copy from the book store “book actually” we are surprised how they put in so much effort in wrapping every each of the books up. Can’t wait to purchase from them again.
So back to this recipe, as it is summer we decided to look for a recipe that can represent the summer very well. Searching through our fridge we found out that we have some leftover watermelon from the Watermelon Salad with Cucumber. Yes, we want to recreate the Olive Oil and Pepper-marinated Watermelon bites with Halloumi.
I want to give this recipe a miss as I wasn’t sure what halloumi was but glad that we didn’t. Angela keeps backing up that I will love it, indeed I ended up listing it in my favourite cheese of all time.
What is Halloumi?
Halloumi is a semi-hard brined cheese, traditionally from Cyprus. It’s similar to mozzarella in texture, but it is brined so it imparts a salty taste and greater depth of flavours. This is an excellent grilling cheese because it doesn’t melt. Halloumi slices will retain their shape when cooked, and the heat softens the rubbery (or “squeaky”) cheese while mellowing the saltiness.
Tips when cooking Halloumi
- The halloumi will smoke as you cook it. Don’t be alarmed—you’re not doing anything wrong. Just turn on the vent, open a window, or run a fan.
- The cheese should soften as it cooks, but no liquid should escape, and it won’t melt. You can poke it with a spatula to test its consistency.
A simple vegan option would be to replace the halloumi with marinated tofu. Just make sure to squeeze out the liquid before marinating it, so it soaks up all the flavours. You could also replace it with feta cheese if you couldn’t get them in your stores.
The halloumi flavour really surprises us, and the salty flavour only makes us crave for more during the hot weather. There is still half of the halloumi in our fridge, what dishes should we make using the leftovers?
This dish have become one of our go to for entertaining during the summer. Every bites of the watermelon is marinated well with olive oil and black pepper. Topped with halloumi and mint, it is so refreshing, beautiful and easy to prepare! Try them now!
Watermelon Bites with Halloumi
This dish have become one of our go to for entertaining during the summer. Every bites of the watermelon is marinated well with olive oil and black pepper. Topped with halloumi and mint, it is so refreshing, beautiful and easy to prepare!
32 triangle seedless watermelon
60ml olive oil
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1 pack of halloumi
Handful of fresh mint
- In a bowl, combine the watermelon, oil and pepper. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes, gently stirring occasionally.
- Sliced the halloumi lengthways into 4 slices.
- Dry the halloumi cheese slices by blotting them with a paper towel. Place the slices on a plate and brush both sides lightly with the olive oil to coat each thoroughly.
- Sear the cheese in the hot pan until each slice develops a deep brown crust, about 1 minute on the first side and 1 to 2 minutes on the other.
- Transfer the watermelon to a large serving platter. Set a piece of halloumi on each watermelon, you can secure them with toothpick (optional) and top them with mint leaves. Drizzle the bites with the reserved oil, serve them warm.
- Excerpted from ANTONI IN THE KITCHEN © 2019 by Antoni Porowski with Mindy Fox.