Grilled Romaine and Halloumi with Mint Vinaigrette

Halloumi, a stretched curd cheese traditionally made from a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk, originated in Cypress and is now wildly popular all over the Middle East. When grilled or fried, it melts and softens but retains a firm structure, ideal for a starter or salad.

Ingredients

For the Vinaigrette

  • ¼ tsp sea salt or to taste
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup ( oz/10 g) minced fresh mint
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, quartered lengthwise
  • ½ lb (250 g) halloumi cheese, cut into slices ⅓ inch (9 mm) thick
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Method

Preheat a grill to medium-high and oil the grill rack.

To make the vinaigrette, in a bowl, whisk together the ¼ tsp salt, vinegar, and olive oil. Stir in the mint, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, if needed. Set aside.

Place the romaine quarters and halloumi slices on a baking sheet and brush with the olive oil. Place the romaine, cut side down, on the grill rack and grill until seared and the edges of the leaves are golden, about 5 minutes. Turn and grill the other side until almost limp, 3–4 minutes longer. Transfer to a platter, cut side up. Place the halloumi slices on the grill and grill until the edges soften, the interior is warm, and golden grill marks appear, about 2 minutes. Turn and grill on the second side for 1–2 minutes longer, until lightly golden. Add the halloumi to the platter with the grilled romaine.

Pour the vinaigrette over the warm salad and serve at once.

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