21 August 2012

Ripe and Ready Basil and Tomato with Seared Haloumi

Basil and Tomato with Seared Haloumi

Early summer’s kale, swiss chard, lettuce and garden peas are making way for tomatoes, carrots, beets, cucumbers, garlic and squash in my little garden plot. For someone who loves autumn and all its bounty this is a welcome transition. It is drawing to the close of summer, and all that time spent digging in the dirt under the hot, unwavering summer sun has paid off.  Armfuls of brightly coloured fruit and vegetables are ready for their moment to shine. The plethora of summer’s bounty, beautiful in its grandeur and vibrant splashes of colour, can be overwhelming to even the seasoned cook.  How can you enjoy the abundance of fresh produce without canning it or eating the same old recipes time and time again?  Our cookbooks, other blogs and any number of sources are inspiration for an abundance of unique and creative recipes which give us new ways to relish and rediscover those late summer gifts from the garden.

Tomatoes, those ambiguous fruits, are finally showing up by the armful. Freshly harvested tomatoes, still warm from the late summer sun, exemplify the vegetable harvest for this home gardener. I have been daydreaming all summer of those sweet, sun-ripened tomatoes of all shapes, sizes and colours. Early Sunday morning I picked several vine-ripened beauties along with a handful of sweet basil. All afternoon I impatiently anticipated my first bite into their firm skin imagining their sweet juices running down my chin. Recipe ideas swirled through my mind, and I skimmed many a website showcasing delicious displays of homegrown tomatoes of every stripe. I practically skipped into my condo ready to share my exuberance for late summer bounty with a simple recipe. This satisfied my cravings with the salty haloumi cheese from Cyprus balanced with some ground sumac, a berry with a tangy lemon flavour in the tomato salad. These tomatoes shone brighter than any other this week.


**Basil and Tomato with Seared Haloumi**

2 x 250g pieces of haloumi cheese 
half a small red onion, thinly sliced
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
½ cup basil leaves, torn
2 heaping teaspoons sumac
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
flour for dusting
4 tablespoons olive oil
juice of half a lemon

Cut the haloumi into 2cm thick slices. In a small bowl combine the onion, tomatoes, basil and sumac. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the extra virgin olive oil and vinegar and mix lightly. Set aside.

Lightly dust the cheese in flour shaking off the excess. Pour olive oil into a non-stick or heavy based pan and heat to medium high.  Lightly fry the slices of haloumi quickly until golden on both sides. Remove to a platter.

Squeeze some lemon juice over top. Scatter the salad over top and serve immediately.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

28 comments:

  1. I could eat this every day and be very happy. I've tried searing haloumi once with little success, but I see I should have dusted it with flour first. Will definitely try.
    Sam

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  2. Your lovely tomato and cheese dish looks so delicious. We are enjoying tomatoes in every way possible. Here, in the midwest, their season is so fleeting that they appear on our table about every day.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  3. Looks Amazing..never tasted Sumac..but I can taste your pics:)

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  4. Ah Val look really nice! And I love tomato and cheese:)

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  5. What a wonderful way to dress up haloumi cheese!

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  6. A scrumptious combination!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  7. What a beautiful salad. So summery and evocative of sunshine! Love halloumi too so this is win win!

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  8. I have never tried Haloumi, I will have to keep an eye out for it. This looks delicious.

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  9. Oooh yes please, I'll have some of that thank you!

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  10. I've somehow managed to avoid halloumi thus far and I really am bummed about it! You make it look so good here.

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  11. I haven't had haloumi since winter. I fried it up with cheese hash browns. oh my goodness so good.
    so I can imagine how well this pairs with basil and tomato.

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  12. There is no treat quite like fresh tomatoes and basil in the summer.

    I finally tried grilled halloumi for my birthday this year. How I hated the fact that I waited to long to eat it!

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  13. I have never made seared haloumi or flaming saganaki but have always wanted to. My mouth is watering. Yum!

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  14. Oh I just love halloumi - we call it helim, here in Turkey. Yours looks seared to perfection and I bet the tomato and basil makes it taste so fresh. Lovely! :)

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  15. Our tomatoes are going to be rather late this year unfortunately.
    Seared halloumi is one of our favourites, great for summer.

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  16. This would be my favorite summer lunch, Val. :-) I love your addition of sumac - that is inspired. :-)

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  17. I love the summer produce showing up on all the blogs!

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  18. This looks like a wonderful combination with the warm Haloumi and the fresh tomatoes, your garden should be proud to produce such a lovely meal!

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  19. i feel like i only ever see haloumi on your blog. kudos to you for that, but where i really want to see it is on the plate right in front of me. :)

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  20. What a gorgeous plate of food, Val. Your combination is near perfect and I absolutely love Haloumi. You've made me hungry. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

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  21. Wow - this looks gorgeous and sounds amazing. One of the things we like to do with haloumi is to grill it. It's one of those wonderful cheeses that takes well to the grill and gets a wonderful smokey taste as a result. I'll modify this a bit and try it.

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  22. OMG! This does look perfect for those late summer tomatoes! Where perchance do you find sumac? I'm betting it would be just as good with a trace of cayenne (?) ...

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  23. You could probably find sumac at a specialty food store. Mine was found at Okanagan Grocers.

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  24. I bought sumac a little while ago and then lost it in the chaos of my spice cabinet. I found it again just a couple of days ago, so I am ready to follow your suggestions here. I love halloumi! It is so cool how it softens and turns golden when heated.

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  25. Val, you were reading my mind. I was just at our Janice Beaton cheese shop the other day looking for haloumi which they didn't have. They gave me queso fresco instead, saying that it sears just like haloumi (softens but doesn't melt). I am going to try it in the next few days. I like it on salads. Your tomato salad with haloumi looks so good. Where would you get haloumi cheese in Kelowna?

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  26. Both Valoroso and Mediterranean Market carry haloumi in K-town.

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  27. There are seriously few things that make me happier than a plate of grilled halloumi... Gorgeous post!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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