When I was looking through the Zaitoun cookbook, I saw an appetizer recipe for halloumi. We happened to have some halloumi cheese in the fridge, and this weekend was the spark I needed to make it. It was Thanksgiving and we were headed to some friends’ house for dinner. When I checked the recipe out again, it seemed super quick and easy, and the ingredients were simple/things we mostly had. It was also perfect because it used Pomegranate molasses which is now the flavour of the week I guess.

Halloumi is a cheese associated with Cyprus, and eaten throughout the eastern Mediterranean (the Levant). It is a semi hard, unripened cheese with a high melting point, making it ideal for frying and grilling (see right, photo from Wikipedia). Traditionally halloumi was made with sheep or goats milk, or a combo, but as it becomes more popular, cow’s milk is also used. I’ve eaten halloumi in restaurants a lot of times but never cooked it myself.

It was a great recipe to take to a friend’s because I could prep most of it beforehand, there was only one cooked element (the cheese!) and the rest was just topping. Basically the recipe is orange segments, chopped dates, and fresh mint sprinkled on top of crispy, browned, fried halloumi, drizzled with pomegranate molasses and olive oil. I fried the cheese at our friends and assembled it in front of everyone. Not only did it look like a showstopper, it was unbelievably delicious. One of our friends hadn’t even heard of halloumi, so it was a fun dish. They asked several times for me to send over the recipe too. I know this one will be made again.

My friend took the top photo with portrait mode which seemed to help a lot. But I’m still working on this!