There’s a shelf in our fridge full of emergency foods. There’s emergency bacon (for those evenings where nothing but a bacon sandwich or some magic beans will do), emergency anchovies, emergency chorizo and other good things with a good long shelf-life. They’ll all make a quick and tasty supper dish. Among the preserved meats and fish, there’s always at least one emergency packet of halloumi, a lovely, salty, Greek ewe’s cheese, which does not melt when grilled.
Grilled or pan-fried Halloumi has a soft texture with a crisp surface, pleasantly resilient to the tooth. It makes a quick and delicious supper dish with a few extra ingredients – the pine nuts and sultanas work well with the salty cheese, and the capers add a lovely aromatic zing. (Rinse your capers well to make sure the dish isn’t too salty.) I served this with some cous-cous which I’d spiked with harissa and a lemony green salad.
To serve two, you’ll need:
1 pack of Halloumi
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon nonpareil capers in salt, soaked in cold water for ten minutes and well-rinsed
1 tablespoon fat sultanas
1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
3 chopped shallots
Juice of ½ a lemon
Melt the butter in a large, non-stick frying pan, and saute the shallots with the cumin until they begin to take on a golden colour. Add the halloumi, cut into 1cm-thick slices, and lay in the pan surrounded by the shallots. After five minutes, turn the halloumi and sprinkle over the capers, sultanas and pine nuts.
After another five minutes, turn the halloumi again and pour over the lemon juice. Stir to make sure everything is combined and serve immediately.