Grilled haloumi with olive tapenade recipe

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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
How to Make It
  1. To make the tapenade, place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined but not too smooth. Makes about 350 g.
  2. 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.
  3. Place the hot haloumi on a serving plate and dollop with some of the tapenade. Scatter with lemon thyme leaves and serve immediately.

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