Pesto Halloumi is a simple, quick canapé, the mild, creamy Halloumi goes perfectly well with the bold pesto and the whole recipe can easily be converted into a starter by doubling the portion and serving it on a bed of salad.
Halloumi is of course, as many of you know, an unripe, semi hard white cheese synonymous with Cyprus, believed to have been produced on the island as early as the 4th century. Traditionally, it is made from sheep’s milk or a combination of sheep & goat milk, however, cow’s milk halloumi is fast gaining in popularity too.
To many, the beauty of the halloumi is its ability to retain its shape under any form of culinary assault, grilled, baked or fried. The Cypriots of course serve it as a side to watermelon in the summer and it is a necessary ingredient in Pourekia, a traditional Cypriot pie.
As mentioned, this is so, so easy and you can top the pesto with anything you like and I’ve even served it with chilli pesto which contrasts so beautifully with the cheese. Remember now, nothing beats homemade pesto, recipe here!
Want to turn this Pesto Halloumi into a starter?
Serve it on a bed of salad leaves, with some cucumbers and basil leaves. You could then liberally spoon the pesto sauce over the salad if you fancy.
PS: I have a thing about pesto and if you do a search for pestos on this site, you’ll find lots of other ways with it too, like:
- 200g halloumi
- 2-3 tbsp pesto
- 3-4 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 - 2 tbsp olive oil
- Cut the halloumi up into little blocks. The one I get is fairly thick, so I halve the thickness too, and this allows me to get about 8 little block shaped pieces. Pat them dry with a kitchen paper.
- Heat the oil in a roomy frying pan over medium high heat.
- Fry the halloumi pieces, about a minute each side is all that they need, until they're golden brown. If your pan isn't big enough, do it in 2 batches, please.
- Top with a tiny dollop of pesto (half a teaspoon), and place half a cherry tomato on top. Serve immediately.