Cheese…On the Grill!

I couldn’t resist the chance to fire up my parents’ grill while we were visiting in Arizona over spring break last week. The weather was in the 80s, which is just balmy for the desert. Since we’re continuing to celebrate Grilled Cheese Month here on Panini Happy, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to go ahead and grill some cheese.

Halloumi Cheese

Have you tried halloumi cheese? It’s one of a number of “grilling cheeses” out there, with a high melting point that allows you to easily fry or grill it. It’s a traditional cheese of Cyprus, typically made from a combination of goat’s and sheep’s milk. It’s on the salty side – kind of reminds me of feta, but firmer and malleable.

I found an incredibly simple, flavorful Grilled Halloumi and Lemon recipe from Gourmet with grilled lemons and a lemon-garlic-olive oil marinade. The lemons really seemed to mellow out the saltiness. The bite of the lemons themselves was also mellowed from the grilling process as well as a tiny bit of sugar in the marinade. I gave the dish a little sprinkle of oregano to finish it off. Talk about fresh tasting “grilled cheese”!

Now, I should mention that the grill got a little hotter than I’d intended so the cheese stuck to the grates a bit. I’m sure all I’ll need to do next time is brush some extra olive oil onto the grates before grilling and turn the heat down some. I’ll definitely be making this again soon!

Grilled Halloumi and Lemon

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Grilled Halloumi and Lemon

From the Grilled Haloumi and Lemon recipe on Epicurious.com

Prep time: 20 min | Cook time: 20 min | Total time: 40 min

Yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 pound Halloumi cheese
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 (3/4-inch-thick) slices peasant or country-style bread
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill (or oregano)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prepare a gas grill for direct-heat cooking over moderately high heat.
  2. Cut 8 thin slices from lemons, then squeeze enough juice from remainder to measure 2 tablespoons and put in a bowl.
  3. Halve cheese diagonally, then cut each triangle, cut side down, into 1/3-inch-thick slices.
  4. Mince garlic and mash to a paste with a pinch of salt using side of a large heavy knife, then add to lemon juice. Whisk in salt and sugar until dissolved, then add 1/4 cup oil, whisking until combined.
  5. Separately toss lemon slices and cheese each with 1/2 tablespoon dressing.
  6. Brush both sides of bread with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
  7. Grill bread, cheese, and lemon slices on grill rack, covered, turning over once (use a metal spatula to scrape under cheese to loosen before turning), until bread is toasted (2 to 3 minutes total), grill marks appear on cheese (3 to 4 minutes total), and lemons begin to wilt (4 to 6 minutes total).
  8. Whisk dill into remaining dressing. Divide bread among 4 small plates and top with cheese and lemon slices. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

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KathyPanini Happy, online since 2008, is more than just a sandwich blog. Here, you'll find hundreds of my original panini recipes, my guide to choosing a panini press and a whole lot of other creative uses for the panini press.
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17 Comments

  1. sara wrote:

    Ooooh, this looks fantastic! I had this cheese once several years ago and really liked it, but for whatever reason I have never tried it again…this is good inspiration to do so! Yum.

    Posted 4.20.11 Reply
  2. Alison wrote:

    I love grilled cheese. Or I should say cheese that has been grilled (or pan fried for that matter). Love this idea. It’s a deconstructed panini!

    Posted 4.20.11 Reply
  3. June wrote:

    I honestly haven’t tried grilled cheese all my life. Why? Because I am lactose intolerant! But this? They are beautiful. I can stare at them all day and not get hungry. I just wish I can eat them too. Thanks for sharing!

    Posted 4.21.11 Reply
  4. I love grilled halloumi cheese! Now you have me craving that!

    Posted 4.21.11 Reply
  5. Fantastic, Kathy! I adore grilled halloumi cheese, but haven’t made it for ages. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Posted 4.21.11 Reply
  6. Are you trying to tease me? I gave up cheese for lent. Only a few more days

    Posted 4.21.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      I applaud your commitment – April is the month when I eat *more* cheese than ever. 🙂

      Posted 4.21.11 Reply
  7. kellypea wrote:

    I’ve tried it once and loved it. I don’t see it in too many of the markets here, but it is showing up more frequently than it used to. It sounds fabulous with the grilled lemon.

    Posted 4.21.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      They’ve got it in the Whole Foods in UTC!

      Posted 4.21.11 Reply
  8. This looks delicious–my stomach is grumbling! Where do you find the Halloumi? Have you seen it somewhere besides WF? I can go there but it’s kind far from me. Can’t wait to try it!

    Posted 4.22.11 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Well, I also found it at a high-end grocery store in Arizona. I haven’t actually looked for it besides there and Whole Foods – you might just look in the specialty cheese section of your local grocery store, it just might be there.

      Posted 4.22.11 Reply
  9. Liz V. wrote:
    Posted 4.24.11 Reply
  10. Haloumi is by far one of God’s greatest gifts!

    Posted 4.24.11 Reply
  11. Gaby wrote:

    really there isn’t anything better than cheese that is grilled. I could eat pounds and pounds of it and be one happy camper!!

    Posted 4.25.11 Reply
  12. Megan wrote:

    I’ve never tried those grilling cheeses but maybe I should. This is sure the month to celebrate grilled cheese! 😉

    Posted 4.27.11 Reply
  13. I’ve never heard of halloumi cheese until recently. Seems everyone knew about it but me.

    Posted 4.28.11 Reply
  14. Looks good. I wonder if mozzarella would work as well?

    Posted 6.8.11 Reply