I’ve tried and rejected some varieties of haloumi that are so ‘squeaky’ and bouncy they have no flavour. And while I understand that of course there are traditional ways of making it in Cyprus and other countries of the Mediterranean, I love that many local cheese makers are taking the tradition and putting an Australian slant on it. A great example is the Barossa Valley Cheese Company. Their haloumi is actually a staple in our refrigerator and Colin is the master at cooking it as friends stand around with a glass of wine in hand. The flavour and texture of just-cooked good haloumi is something else entirely.
- Yield: 8 Servings
- 225 g good-quality haloumi, cut crossways into 8 slices
- Extra virgin olive oil, for pan-frying
- Lemon thyme leaves, to serve
- 250 g pitted Kalamata olives
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon baby capers in brine, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon lemon thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped marjoram
- 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- To make the tapenade, place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined but not too smooth. Makes about 350 g.
- Pat dry the haloumi slices with paper towel. Heat a good drizzle of olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add the haloumi and cook until golden on both sides.
- Place the hot haloumi on a serving plate and dollop with some of the tapenade. Scatter with lemon thyme leaves and serve immediately.