Summer, to me, says Halloumi.
It all started when I was living in D.C. Every summer, I’d buy a hunk of Halloumi cheese, slice it, fry it, and put it on salad. For a while it became my go-to meal (besides omelettes and toast). My first summer in the city, I made this blueberry Halloumi salad. It was pretty delicious.
Then I met a friend who had a grill at her apartment so I started cooking Halloumi that way. Don’t get me wrong: Fried Halloumi is delicious. But grilled Halloumi takes things to the next level. Picture salty, almost briny cheese, combined with a rich, smoky flavor. The outsides get slightly crispy and the insides are melty and gooey. Just writing about it makes me want to fire up the grill.
For this salad, I also grilled an ear of corn. I sprinkled the kernels on top a bed of baby spinach leaves and added peaches for sweetness and almonds for crunch. I only used a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice for dressing.
Sometimes people are surprised when I tell them that I only dress a salad with lemon and olive oil. I do it partly because I don’t want to make dressing and partly because if the ingredients are fresh, that’s all a salad needs. I’d rather let the other flavors shine than bury them in dressing.
ANYWAY. Make this salad as soon as possible. If you don’t have a grill, you could just fry the Halloumi and add the corn kernels without cooking them. However, I’d highly recommend finding someone with a grill and getting them to let you use it. Aside from improving the flavors in this salad, there’s something very cathartic about firing up a grill and cooking things. It’s sort of like driving or biking. Once I find my rhythm I could do it for hours.
Here’s a song that reminds me of this salad. It’s sweet, spunky, and the perfect amount of dangerous.
Grilled Halloumi and Corn Salad with Peaches
1 package of Halloumi cheese, sliced into 1/2-inch rectangles
1 ear of bicolor corn, husk pulled down and tied
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1 peach, sliced into wedges
1/2 cup sliced almonds
olive oil and fresh lemon juice for dressing
Fire up the grill. Place the Halloumi cheese segments and corn directly onto the metal rungs. Cook for a few minutes and then check to make sure that the sides of the cheese and the corn are getting evenly singed. Turn the cheese over once it has grill marks. Keep an eye on things because the cheese will cook quickly.
Once the cheese and corn are done cooking, remove from the grill and set aside. Place baby spinach leaves in a bowl and top with peach and almonds. Remove the kernels from the corn cob and scatter over the spinach leaves. Top with Halloumi, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!
*A great way to remove kernels from a cob is to take a large bowl and place the cob diagonal with the pointed tip facing up toward you. Run a knife down each side of the cob to remove the kernels. It’s kind of like shaving…so be careful! Make sure to angle the knife away from your body/fingers and run the sharp edge downward when you’re cutting the corn.