Starting around a few years ago, the rest of the world developed a desperate curiosity about what else the vast region of the Middle East had to offer. They wanted to go beyond hummus, pita, and falafel. Chefs from the best restaurants started playing with ingredients like harissa, ras el hanout, rose water, and za’atar. As with every other food trend in the history of time, it wasn’t long before we started seeing these ingredients popping up on our market shelves and Instagram feeds.
This week, Mezze is taking us on a journey with halloumi. Halloumi cheese is brined, hard cheese that’s great for grilling. It makes for a great addition to this Mediterranean summer salad. Our resident Middle Eastern cuisine expert Crista is a chef, entrepreneur, and world traveler who has developed over 40 different highly-successful restaurant concepts in her culinary career. But, she’s most passionate about her current project, Mezze. A nod to her Syrian-Armenian routes, Mezze is a celebration of life, seen through the lens of Middle Eastern food, culture, and experiences. Visit her here at Mezze.
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add halloumi cheese and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side or until brown. Remove from pan and place onto a plate lined with paper towels and allow to cool. Meanwhile, combine all dressing ingredients except for olive oil in a medium bowl. Whisk together vigorously while slowly adding the olive oil. Adjust seasoning to taste. Combine all salad ingredients except halloumi cheese in a bowl and toss with dressing. Top with cheese and enjoy! The perfect Mezze dish!