Halloumi Salad 3_ POST

To me, making cheese from scratch feels more special than most other types of cooking and baking. Perhaps because it’s less common and because it’s often believed to be close to impossible. That’s not the case of course; homemade halloumi for example is made from just milk, rennet and salt, and it’s mostly about getting temperatures right and about waiting. A breeze compared to many popular and traditionally homemade dishes.

Halloumi cheese is usually made from goats and sheep’s milk but can just as well be made from cow’s milk. For a guest who normally wouldn’t eat Halloumi cheese because they don’t favor the taste of goat’s milk – like my friend Petra – homemade Halloumi made from cow’s milk can be an extra special treat. Next time I see Ms Henell I will make this delicious salad just for her. Perfect with some chilled white wine for lunch or a for girls night in. Perhaps followed by a creamy piece of cake for her sweet tooth, served with big cups of hot tea…

halloumi salad with kumquats, herb roasted pecans and champagne vinaigrette

Halloumi Salad 1 POST

Salty and sweet, crunchy and smooth, this is a flavorful but mild salad. There is no exact substitute for kumquats, whose peel is delectably edible, but if they are unavailable I would suggest using tangerines or oranges in its place. To replace kumquats in the vinaigrette, add a splash of lemon juice in addition to the tangerine or orange.


halloumi salad with kumquats, herb roasted pecans and champagne vinaigrette
ingredients

6 cups mixed salad greens with mache
4 thin slices red onion
4-6 sliced kumquats (+½ cup fresh squeezed kumquat juice for the vinaigrette)
1 diced cucumber
10 oz diced & fried halloumi cheese
about ½ cup champagne kumquat vinaigrette (recipe below)
generous sprinkling of herb roasted pecans (recipe below)
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, rosemary and mustard flowers for edible decoration

directions

Mix salad greens, onions, kumquats, cucumber and halloumi cheese with vinaigrette to taste.

When ready to serve, top with roasted pecans, herbs and flowers.

Serves 4


champagne kumquat vinaigrette
ingredients

¼ cup fresh squeezed kumquat juice
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon honey or maple syru
¼ teaspoon salt

directions

Combine all ingredients and shake until slightly thickened.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes ½ cup. Recipe can be doubled.


herb roasted pecans
ingredients

1 cup raw pecans
2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
¼ teaspoon salt

directions

Toss all ingredients until evenly coated and spread in one layer on a baking sheet.

Bake at 350F/175C for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Take out and toss once.


homemade halloumi cheese
ingredients

1 gallon full fat goats or cows milk
¼ teaspoon liquid rennet diluted in 1 tablespoon water

salt

directions

Heat milk to 90F while stirring.

Add rennet and continue to stir only until blended, about 30 seconds.

Without stirring, keep the milk as close to 90F as possible for about 45 minutes until a firm curd has set. This can be done by keeping the pot in a warm place such as a water bath.

Cut curd into ½ inch pieces with a knife using vertical and diagonal cuts.

Slowly heat the curd/whey mixture to 105F and keep it at that temperature for about 20 minutes while stirring gently. This will further break up the curd and make it smooth.

Place a cheese cloth in a colander and pour in the curd to drain the whey. Keep the whey for later use. Squeeze out as much of the whey as possible, then place a weight on top and continue to drain for 45 minutes to an hour.

Cut pressed cheese into 3 or 4 pieces.

Heat the saved whey to a slow simmer and add the cut pieces of cheese. Leave at a slow simmer for about 30 minutes until the cheese rise to the surface.

Remove pieces of cheese from the simmering water and place on a cooling rack. Sprinkle with salt and leave until cool.

Refrigerate cheese in a cooled brine mix of 100gr iodine free salt to every 4 cups liquid (2 cups boiling water + 2 cups leftover whey).

Makes about 1-1½ pound cheese.

Halloumi Salad 3 POST

Photography by Philip Blankenship.