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Heirloom Tomato Salad with Halloumi

by in May 2013

Total Time: 25 minutes

Hands On Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 appetizer salads or side servings

Halloumi, a salty, almost meaty Greek sheep's-milk cheese, is remarkable not only for its rich flavor but for its abililty to stand up to frying and even grilling while holding its shape (it's a popular addition to kebabs). In this heirloom tomato salad, pan-seared slabs of cheese pair with tomatoes to make a deliciously simple summer dish. For an even heartier main course, add grilled chicken or shrimp.

Read more about the fresh local recipes being served at Nebo Lodge on North Haven Island, Maine.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Halloumi
Photo/Art by Heath Robbins

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 tablespoons finely minced shallot
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons for frying
  • 3 large, ripe tomatoes (about 3 pounds total)
  • 1 8.8-ounce package halloumi cheese
  • 12 large basil leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste (optional)

Instructions:

In a small bowl, whisk together shallot, vinegar, and salt. Add 1/2 cup olive oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified, and set aside.

Cut tomatoes crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices and arrange on a platter or on four small plates. Cut halloumi into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium-size nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, and fry halloumi slices until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.

Arrange cheese over tomatoes, and drizzle shallot vinaigrette on top. Tear basil leaves over top. Sprinkle with pepper, if you like. Serve immediately.

Additional Notes:

Note: Halloumi is increasingly available in the cheese department of many supermarkets (usually under the Mt. Vikos brand). You may also find it at any Whole Foods market or cheese shop.

Updated Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
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