Top Pick Of The Week

November 9, 2010


Lentil Halloumi Salad

Grilled halloumi cheese makes delicious croutons for this salad of beluga lentils, halved grape tomatoes, red onion and cilantro dressed with rosemary-infused olive oil. Photo by Simone Van Den Berg | Dreamstime.

WHAT IT IS: Cheese for grilling.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: It holds its shape when fried, grilled, or otherwise cooked.
WHY WE LOVE IT: It’s cheese, fried, warm and delicious.
WHERE TO BUY IT:  Halloumi/grillling cheese is sold at retailers nationwide. For Yanni Grilling Cheese see store locator or phone 1.888.767.0778.

.Halloumi Cheese
Page 2: Serving Suggestions


Halloumi Cheese Overview

Halloumi was first made in Cyprus in the Middle Ages, from unpasteurized goat’s and sheep’s milk. The cheese recipe spread throughout the rest of the Middle East region. The name is said to come from the Arabic word khllum, cheese; or perhaps the ancient Egyptian hal, salt (which became hals in Greek).

It was originally wrapped in mint leaves to protect and preserve the cheese. Today, producers of halloumi make both plain halloumi and a version that includes tiny bits of fresh mint (yummy!).

In America—a nation with many cows but fewer goats and sheep (whose milk is more expensive)—commercial varieties are typically made with cow’s milk.

Cow’s milk halloumi is delicious, but the flavor and grilling properties  differ from the sheep’s and goat’s milk version. So if you can find artisan halloumi, grab it (we found some in a San Francisco farmers market).

Why Doesn’t Halloumi Melt?

As with cheese curds, the fresh curd is heated before it is shaped and placed in brine. Its firm texture when cooked causes it to squeak on the teeth when being consumed.

Other notable grilling cheeses are paneer from India and queso blanco from Mexico.

The recipe for grilling halloumi is on the next page.

Serving suggestions and recipes begin below.


This is Page 2 of a three-page article. Click on the black links below to visit other pages:


Serving Halloumi Cheese

Halloumi can be eaten at hot or at room temperature. How to serve halloumi? The real question is: what can’t you do with halloumi?

Well, you can’t make cheesecake and ice cream with it since it doesn’t melt. But you can serve it for dessert (more about that in a minute).


  • Fried Eggs. Serve fried slices with eggs or in a breakfast burrito.
  • Scrambled Eggs. Add grated or diced halloumi to a scrambled egg mixture.
  • Eggs Benedict. Make Halloumi Eggs Benedict and enjoy both ham and cheese with your poached egg and English muffin.
  • Bagel. Go fusion and add a grilled slice to a bagel (we also love mozzarella on a bagel, but melting the mozz on a toasted bagel requires a broiler).
  Wrap Sandwich With Halloumi & Couscous
Couscous and grilled halloumi wrap with picholine olives, sundried tomatoes in olive oil and baby arugula. Photo © Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime.


  • Burger. Add a slice of fried or plain halloumi to your burger. It won’t be melty/drippy but tangy and toothsome.
  • Pasta Salad. Add diced halloumi to your favorite pasta salad recipe.
  • Sandwich. Have a sandwiches with grilled or room-temperature halloumi. Add sliced tomatoes, roasted red peppers, olive condiment (you can chop your own and mix with fresh parsley) or salsa. You can have the sandwich at room temperature or grill at (as with grilled cheese).
  • Side. Serve a side of fried halloumi. You can serve it plain or with dressed baby greens.
  • Soup & Salad. Add a small dice of halloumi cubes (or grate it) to soups and salads.
  • Chili. Substitute grated halloumi for Cheddar as a chili garnish.


  • Antipasto. Serve halloumi with antipasto or with Middle Eastern mezze.
  • Pasta. Grate halloumi over pasta, or toss diced halloumi with cooked pasta.
  Sweet Potatoes With Halloumi
Toasted sweet potatoes and red bell peppers with grilled halloumi. Photo © Elena Elisseeva | Dreamstime.


  • Cheese Plate. Add halloumi to the cheese plate.
  • Sweet Cheese. Serve halloumi slices drizzled with honey and an optional garnish of pistachio nuts or candied walnuts, berries or other fruits and sweet spices (cinnamon or nutmeg, for example).
  • Melon. In Cyprus, watermelon and halloumi are a favorite dessert. You can use other melons as well. Think of serving slices of halloumi and melon topped with a chiffonade of basil (shredded basil) for a Caprese-like dessert salad.

You’ll enjoy saying hello to halloumi.

– Karen Hochman

Continue To Page 3: Halloumi Recipes

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