Following my 1st blog, here is another culinary tale from my last visit to Israel. In my early 20’s, I was hired as a chef at a Creperie in Jerusalem. Over the 3 years that I’ve worked there, I’ve become very close friends with the owner Ziva, an amazing woman who has a flair, which comes across in her cooking as well as her personality.
When I visited Ziva and her husband Nissim, She made a fantastic, seemingly simple and yet delicious, Vegetable salad, with grilled Halloumi cheese. I always say that the fruits & vegetables in Israel taste the best, so even the simplest salad is celebration for the taste buds.
In this salad, the Halloumi cheese adds another layer of flavor, and makes it a very satisfying lunch! I’m going to use it more on Oz Catering menus! ISRAELI SALAD WITH GRILLED HALLOUMI CHEESE
Let me tell A little about Halloumi cheese, to those of you who are not familiar with it. Traditionally it’s made from Sheep’s milk, although there are other versions that are almost as tasty. The cheese as is, is quite odd tasting and rubbery in texture. I only recommend using it warmed up- grilled or fried.
It’s great in salads, combined with any vegetables, quinoa or other grains, or as an appetizer- cut in cubes and skewered with cherry tomato and a leaf of basil. You can find Halloumi is Middle Eastern stores, TJ’S and Whole Foods. You can add, subtract or change the ingredients of the salad. Experiment, be creative and enjoy! (Serves 4 as a light lunch) Ingredients
- Small head of Romaine lettuce – washed and torn to fairly small pieces
- 3 radishes – sliced
- A basket of cherry tomatoes cut in half or 2 medium size vine ripe tomatoes – diced small
- 3 Persian cucumbers – diced small
- 1 red bell pepper – diced small
- 1avocado- diced or sliced
- v5-6 cornichons or 2 diced pickles
- 1 pack of Halloumi cut into 1’ squares, fried to golden brown, or brushed with a little olive oil and grilled to golden brown.
Mix all ingredients and season with good olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt and pepper