Upgrade Your Salad And Make Croutons Out Of Halloumi Cheese

Salad with various vegetables and halloumi
Salad with various vegetables and halloumi - Haoliang/Getty Images

If you've never tried halloumi before, it's time to change that as soon as possible. Halloumi is a fascinating and delicious cheese that holds shape even when cooked at high temperatures; it's often prepared by frying, searing, or grilling, and instead of melting into a mess, it remains firm and crisps up on the outside. It's excellent served on its own as an appetizer, tucked into sandwiches, or as an accompaniment to salads.

In fact, if you're avoiding carbs, need to eat gluten-free, or simply want a little extra cheese in your salad, cubed halloumi also makes an excellent substitute for croutons. The cheese's exterior gets nice and crunchy on the grill, providing that texture difference that's so important in a salad. And, halloumi's mild flavor means it goes well with a medley of ingredients, from simple Caesar salads to grain bowls and everything in between.

Read more: 6 Cheese Brands To Buy, And 6 To Stay Away From

How To Make Halloumi Croutons

halloumi croutons
halloumi croutons - Image Source Trading Ltd/Shutterstock

Halloumi croutons are nothing more than chopped, grilled halloumi used to top a salad, and preparing them is as simple as whipping up a little dressing and heating up the grill. Use a skewer to grill the halloumi -- you can also add any veggies you might want grilled before adding to the salad, such as asparagus, zucchini, peppers, or onion.

Marinade the skewered cheese and veggies for one hour in a vinaigrette; you can either make your own or use a store-bought bottled vinaigrette. Just be sure the dressing isn't too sugary, or you may have flare-ups on the grill. Put the skewered ingredients on the grill at medium setting, just getting a char on each of the sides. Don't let the vegetables soften too much.

Then assemble the salad; you can use any greens for a base, and add in other accompaniments, such as cooked proteins, or other toppings like sliced tomatoes or cucumber. Drizzle more vinaigrette on top to dress and serve.

Halloumi In A Nutshell

Grilled halloumi on white plate
Grilled halloumi on white plate - Esin Deniz/Shutterstock

Now you have your grilled halloumi, ready to eat. But, before you take that first bite what exactly is halloumi?

Halloumi is a cheese that originates in Cyprus, which is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. The cheese is traditionally made with a mix of goat and sheep's milk, though cow's milk versions do exist. Both fresh and aged halloumi exist, though the fresh version must be eaten within a few days of making; aged versions are brined and preserved for up to a few months.

Often halloumi is packaged alongside mint leaves. The cheese is slightly similar in texture and taste to mozzarella though, unlike mozzarella, it won't melt into a gooey, stretchy mess.

Halloumi is also under the European Union's Protected Designations of Origins register, so cheese that does not come directly from Cyprus will have a different designation at the grocery store. It will taste the same and can be used in the same recipes, but there's only one authentic halloumi.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.