Phoebe Christofi presents an homage to halloumi, plus a deliciously easy recipe to try out.
An Homage to Halloumi
Everyone is always proud of their nation’s cultural dish. Coming from Australia, I can’t say that we actually have one; there are too many nationalities. But halloumi – the dish from my heritage – is enough to make you all jealous.
As many people know, halloumi is Cypriot, and having a Cypriot background means that my family can definitely claim it as a traditional family dish – it’s a staple in our kitchen. In Cyprus, a typical breakfast would consist of halloumi and watermelon – something cool and refreshing for those hot summer months. Furthermore, it’s usually also included on an antipasto platter with salted meats, olives and bread with olive-oil.
Over the years, this Cypriot cheese has become more and more popular in the West, with many countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States including it on their menu in almost every typical restaurant or café. There are always promotions of halloumi stalls at markets, and due to its immense popularity, you can guarantee that it will earn shop owners a pretty profit.
There is of course, the age-old question – grilled or fried? Both are exquisite, and needless to say as someone with a Cypriot background, I can hardly claim that one is better than the other. Halloumi is always there for you, it suits your needs. If you want to grill up some halloumi, then great. If you want to fry it, no one will judge your decision. As long as it’s being consumed, it’s happy, and because you’re eating halloumi, you’ll be happy too. Whether you eat it on its own or it’s the key ingredient in a lavish dish, the flavour is always unique, and the cheesy texture is derived from Aphrodite herself.
For all of you halloumi lovers out there, here’s an affordable, easy, and healthy recipe to get you through those halloumi cravings.
Halloumi and Beetroot Sliders
- 4-6 slices of Halloumi (halved)
- 400g Chickpeas
- 250g Raw Beetroot (grated)
- 1-2 finely chopped Green Chilli
- 50g Wholemeal Breadcrumbs
- 1 Egg
- 1 cup of Rocket
- Small buns
- Chilli Jam
- Olive Oil
Put the chickpeas in a bowl and roughly mash them with the chilli. Add the breadcrumbs, egg, and the beetroot with salt and pepper seasoning. Mix together and form between eight and twelve patties. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the patties until they’re a golden brown. Then, fry the halloumi until it starts to go a golden brown too. Assembling the sliders, halve the buns, place some rocket leaves on the base, add a patty and a piece of halloumi with a small dollop of chilli jam on top. You can serve two or three per person, just depends on how hungry you are!