I can well remember the first time I ever tasted haloumi. Before trying it (and being reassured of what it was!) I thought it was some sort of foreign fish dish..
So imagine my surprise when – whilst wending my way thru’ food heaven (See this link – NZ’s most fabulous Food Show) in Auckland, way back in 2002 – a man of middle eastern origin beseeched me to try this white, somewhat odd looking ‘stuff’ he’d been frying.
The surprise could be that I said “OK”, but really it was that I said OK and then had to stop myself from going back to his stall every 5 minutes for another taste!
Oh my goodness, was it delicious!
And so not what I was expecting..
Now tis also fair to say that since that day, I have become a bit of an Haloumi snob.
I’ve tried all the brands on the market and return each time to the one I tried that day – Lemnos Haloumi is really the best available in NZ that I’ve tried..
Some are rubbery, others too salty, some too squishy .. Lemnos is just right, as Goldilocks would say. My preferred way to eat it is simply fried and served on top of a bed of spinach or rocket. Maybe a few slices of tomato or red capsicum on the side. But the other day I tried something new and it was GOOD.
To serve 2 you will need:
1 pkt of lemnos (or your fave) Haloumi
1 clove garlic
a fistful of your fave salad greens – I used rocket
1T balsamic vinegar
+ a little oil and butter to cook the onions in
1st you need to caramelise the onions – this should take a good hour to do it right so start early!
Slice them into rounds and put in a fry pan with the oil and butter. Season with a little pepper. No salt needed. Haloumi is salty ..
Peel the garlic and put it in the pan on top of the onions whole so it melts into them..
Cook the onions and garlic on a low heat for an hour.. No need to stir if you do them on a low enough heat they will melt in the pan til they’re sweet, juicy and divine!
Once they’re cooked down (they will reduce by over 1/2 so don’t panic when you see the qty initially) crank the heat up and add the balsamic then stir for a moment, before taking off the heat. Set aside while you cook the haloumi.
Pan fry the haloumi (Slice it into half so you have 2 ‘slabs’) til golden.
Arrange the haloumi on top of the onions and garnish with the rocket. Season with pepper to taste or drizzle some balsamic (reduced would be best) vinegar around the plate.