The Halloumi Cookbook

HalloumiThe Halloumi Cookbook offers more than 60 delicious recipes taking advantage of this rather unique cheese. It’s popular with vegetarians and prized for its high melting point.  It can easily be fried or grilled, making it perfect for summer barbecuing. Its texture is loved by meat-eaters, too. Kids will enjoy this cheese for its mild and creamy taste. This is not a vegetarian cookbook, although most of the recipes are. Halloumi has a characteristic squeaky quality that marks it from imposters.

But nobody will buy a cookbook just because the eponymous ingredient squeaks! They will want this book for its simple and delicious recipes! It’s a small volume but packed with cheesy inspiration. There are suggestions here for everything from the expected snacks and salad to proper dinner fare. There is even a chapter on baking.

The basic recipes couldn’t be easier or quicker. Baked Halloumi is versatile and limited only by the contents of your spice cupboard. Grilling gives more flavour and a bit of crunch to the cheese, which will need nothing more than a salad to transform it into a light lunch. Fried halloumi will become a family favourite and especially when coated with some semolina. This would make a delightful starter when served with some flavourful relishes, and perhaps a grilled tomato or two to add a bit sweetness and colour. Saganaki (doesn’t this sound rather Japanese?) is a Halloumi classic and the name of the recipe comes from the pan in which the cheese is fried.

Pomegranate Molasses dip

My go-to recipes from this book include Halloumi Fries with caramelised balsamic drizzle. Another summer winner is Barbecued Halloumi Pitta pockets. This is a flavourful sandwich with great spice from harissa. Bacon-wrapped Halloumi would be a wonderful and rather smart canapé, although not for vegetarians. Pomegranate Molasses dip would work well with this and, yes, the recipe for that is here.

Perhaps the recipe that I will use most over the summer is that for Halloumi and Spinach Tart. One can use shop-bought pastry, so it doesn’t take much time to pull this dish together. It’s a lovely starter for an al fresco dinner or as a vegetarian lunch. Take a bit of time to use pastry scraps to decorate the top of this tart and you’ll have a really smart presentation. Good food doesn’t have to be complicated.

The Halloumi Cookbook is perfectly timed for these warm days. Yes, it will be appreciated by vegetarians but also by anybody who loves delicious food. This cheese is mild and a perfect sponge for vibrant flavours, and it’s a flexible – and squeaky – ingredient.

The Halloumi Cookbook
Author: Heather Thomas
Publisher: HarperCollins
Price: £9.99
ISBN-13: 978-0008300920