Char-Grilled Halloumi with Tomato Olive Dressing
Don't you just love blogging? Has there ever been a place where you can make friends with so many like-minded people, learn new things and create new recipes to share all in one convenient location? I am continually learning and am always amazed by the number of ingredients I have never come across in my corner of the world. These are new taste sensations I am longing for. On one such Internet search I came across a new ingredient that my British blogging friends may have already heard of...sun blushed tomatoes.
We are all familiar with sundried tomatoes which are a staple in every day cooking and well known to us. They are usually made from Italian Roma type tomatoes and cut, seeded, and salted. The tomatoes are then placed in framed wooden trays raised on blocks for good air circulation. They dry in the hot sun to a fraction of their size and weight and usually end up packed in oil and jarred. Sundried tomatoes can also be made at home by oven drying at a low temperature or in a dehydrator.
Sun blushed tomatoes, on the other hand, seems to be a term used in Europe, and especially England, to denote a tomato that has been “not fully sun-dried”. They’re juicier and fruitier, but still fantastically rich in flavour. They may also be called semi-sundried tomatoes and are described as similar to sundried, but much sweeter and less chewy. Sun blushed tomatoes are apparently expensive to buy, but you can make your own at home for mere pocket change.They are also typically packed in oil and sold in jars just like their sundried counterparts. I think I would love them in all manner of pastas, sauces, pizzas and salads. Once again roasting tomatoes that are not at the peak of their season comes to the rescue again!!
When I come across a new ingredient I try to get my hot little hands on it, if at all possible. This is the same reason that I buy a Costco card because I don't want to be excluded, even if I rarely shop there. When you are only one person it never makes sense. I drove to my local British shop instead in search of the elusive ingredient but they did not have a sun blushed tomato in sight. So, I decided to make my own version. Here's where the Internet comes in very handy!!!!I found a recipe by Britain's iconic network star Nigella Lawson. I altered the recipe a little since my oven would cool down quite quickly. She suggests turning your oven to a very high heat and then turning it off altogether. Keeping the oven at a low temperature works much better in my case, but this is your call.
I paired the sun blushed tomatoes with some halloumi cheese grilled to perfection for a special lunch. Halloumi is a firm-textured Cypriot cheese that has fast become widely available. A year ago it could not be found anywhere...yay for all those who requested it. We should do the same for Fage Greek yogurt!
Halloumi is fantastic char-grilled!!! It will toughen if allowed to cool, so it's important to serve it as quickly as possible. If your pan isn't large enough to fit both the onion wedges and cheese slices together, cook the onion first, then pile them at the edge of the pan while cooking the cheese. Serve all on a bed of soft salad leaves, then drizzledwith the hot dressing. Add a good seeded crusty bread and enjoy!!!
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