There is absolutely nothing better than a huge grilled steak, but some things come dangerously close. We like this block-party/barbecue-ready side of grilled Halloumi. It’s gooey, it’s hot, and Halloumi cheese matches perfectly with a cooling herb oil, some ripe, red watermelon, and roasted cherry tomatoes with a perfect char. It’s a staple at our cookouts every summer. Give it one shot, we bet it will be one at yours, too!
Choose Your Cheese
At our cookouts, we use Halloumi—a sheep’s milk cheese from Cypress. This cheese has such a high melting point that this baby can be pan-fried, seared, grilled, whatever you need…but this isn’t the only cheese that can stand up to the heat on the grill. Other choices include Cotija, Kasseri, and Queso Panela.
The Oil Makes The Dish
This basil mint oil is a bright green marinade and dressing…and couldn’t be easier to make: fresh mint, basil, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper go into a blender. Give it a whir, strain it and voila!- the best pesto you’ve ever smelled in your life. Just use a spoon or even a brush to lightly drizzle this mixture all over the cheese and tomatoes…but save some for finishing the dish!
We use cherry tomatoes for an amazing presentation—on the vine, if you can! The tomatoes only need 4 minutes on a medium-hot grill. You’ll know they’re done when they’re charred and bursting in places. The cheese chars quickly, so keep an eye on it. Only about 45 seconds a side is needed. Get those beautiful, deep, dramatic grill marks on one side, flip, and remove before the cheese melts.
Finish It Right!
After you’ve plated the watermelon, cheese, and tomatoes…you can’t forget to finish the dish! Use flaked sea salt and freshly ground pepper with a smattering of chopped or torn fresh herbs over the top of the plate will make every flavor pop and make the dish light and bright. Serve immediately!