Halloumi is a Greek Cypriot cheese with a high melting point so it works well when seared or quickly grilled. This salty cheese has excellent texture and be can prepared many ways but I like the very simple method I enjoyed as a kid. Growing up, we knew summer meant a lot of things including grilling season which also meant there would be countless BBQs that would start off with grilled Halloumi cheese with aged balsamic vinegar drizzled on top.
I grew up with this appetizer and it kind of disappeared on my menu until ten years ago when we went to Athens and several of the amazingly beautiful Greek Islands where I started to have flashbacks to growing up with Greek cuisine, including Halloumi. When I returned from vacation I was ready to re-start the Greek revolution and went down to Whole Foods to see if they even carry this. I slowly explained that I was looking for Halloumi Cheese and then started to go into detail what it was. The cheese counter manager cute me off and said, “do you mean the Greek grilling cheese?”
Well, it appears the secret was out. This is a treat not often served and but always enjoyed.
- One pound of Halloumi Cheese, slice in 1/2 inch slices
- Aged balsamic vinegar
- Fire up the grille after you cleaned the grates and rubbed some vegetable oil on it
- Grill the cheese until marked on both sides- 3-4 minutes in total
- Drizzle aged balsamic and serve immediately
Why is Halloumi relatively expensive?
- Increased demand for the cheese across the globe
- For the most part, it is made in Cyprus who have a very inefficient export infrastructure (In other words, they have cornered the market and it is costly to ship)
- It is made with sheep’s milk and these creatures produce less milk than a cow or goat
- The cheese is usually aged which increases the cost