Grilled Halloumi and Persimmons
Halloumi cheese is a wonderful, firm sheeps' milk cheese from Cyprus.
It is fried or grilled until golden and crispy and served warm. It makes the ideal centrepiece for a filling vegetarian main meal or as a starter. Sumac is an astringent spice from Turkey that has a lemony taste that enhances the flavour of the persimmons. The halloumi and persimmons are a wonderful combination with the savoury, salt, tangy salsa verde on a bed of salad leaves.
6 persimmons, hulled and halved
2 blocks of halloumi cheese, sliced into 1.5cm slices
2tsp sumac spice
150g salad leaves
6tbls chopped flat leaf parsley
6tbls chopped fresh basil
6tbls chopped fresh mint
6 anchovy fillets , chopped
12 green olives, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1tbls lemon juice
2tbls red wine vinegar
6tbls extra virgin olive oil
1tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Slice the halloumi cheese into 1.5cm slices and allow to drain on kitchen paper for an hour. This will ensure a crisper finish.
Mix the dressing and taste for seasoning. Add more lemon if desired. Set aside for the flavours to infuse.
Lightly oil the persimmons and season with sumac. Grill on a griddle pan or a BBQ until you get nice grill marks.
Flour the halloumi slices on both sides and grill in a little oil until golden and crispy.
Remove and keep warm on a plate in a moderate oven.
Artistically arrange the salad leaves, grilled persimmons and halloumi cheese. Spoon over a little dressing and serve the rest on the side.