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Grilled Halloumi with Rosemary-Grape-Walnut Relish and Garlic Bread

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Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as a light dinner

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 111

Halloumi, a goat and sheep’s milk cheese from Cyprus, is perfect for grilling: It softens over the heat but doesn’t melt. This cheese plate, complete with grilled grapes and rustic bread, is an elegant way to start off a special-occasion meal, or it can be the meal itself with a green salad.

  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 3 to 4 thick slices
  • 2 Tbs. plus 4 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 oz. halloumi cheese, cut into 3/8-inch-thick slabs (or aged provolone, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small loaf ciabatta (about 8 oz.),cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 large bunch seedless black or red grapes (about 1-1/4 lb.)
  • 2 to 3 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Prepare a high gas or charcoal grill fire.

Drizzle the onion slices with 2 tsp. of the oil and lightly season them with salt and pepper. Pat the cheese dry and drizzle with 2 tsp. of the oil. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 2 Tbs. of oil, the garlic, and a pinch each of salt and pepper; brush the mixture evenly over one side of the bread slices.

Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden-brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Coarsely chop the walnuts while still hot and transfer them to a medium bowl. Mix in the rosemary.

Put the onion slices and bunch of grapes on the grill grate. Cover and grill, turning once, until the grapes are bursting and the onions are grill marked, about 10 minutes. Transfer the grapes to the bowl with the walnuts, and the onions to a cutting board. Use tongs to simultaneously pull the grapes from their stems and crush them, dropping them into the bowl. Chop the grilled onions and add them to the bowl. Season to taste with the vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Clean and oil the grill grate. Put the bread and cheese on the grate and grill uncovered, turning once, until marked on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes (about 1 minute if using provolone).

Divide the cheese, bread, and relish among 4 plates and serve immediately.

Serving Suggestions

Start the meal off with a simple Mixed Green Salad with Red-Wine & Dijon Vinaigrette.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 700; Fat (g): fat g 41; Fat Calories (kcal): 370; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 18; Protein (g): protein g 27; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 9; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 60; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 1290; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 60; Fiber (g): fiber g 4;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Loved these flavours, although I found a full teaspoon of chopped rosemary to be a bit too much. Next time I'll try only half.

Made this last night for dinner; it was absolutely divine. I can see this being a regular in the summer dinner rotation.

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