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It’s taken me some time to get this post up, largely due to laziness but truthfully I’ve been putting it off because by posting this I’ll have conceded that my holiday is well and truly over. SAD FACE.

I was in Cyprus (on what I consider my annual pilgrimage) sun-seeking, road-tripping and visiting friends and family. But most importantly I make this trip each year to visit my bapou, pictured below. He’s 93 going on 94 and as of today he is one of two left of his generation, which must be incredibly difficult for him. He’s the definition of a pessimist and longs for the good old days, specifically 1945 Nicosia when he was a 25 year old rum-drinking, cigarette-smoking vagabond. His nickname was ‘Nick the killer’, the reason behind this he avoids disclosing when I probe him for an explanation.

However these days he’s more concerned with when and not if I’ll be getting married.

During my stay I took a trip to visitΒ friends near the North West peninsula, around 2.5 hours from the capital. When I got there I was greeted with the familiar smell of pine trees and sea air – something that makes this part of the island particularly special for me. We spent every summer here growing up, and going back there makes me fantastically nostalgic. I remember all of the old roads, the beaches with the made up names we’d use to identify them, the waves, the clarity of the water. That deep blue.

cyset2014

As a self-confessed lover/obsessor of food it’s no surprise that I get most excited about the amazing food and produce that I’ll eat during my stay. The sweetest, juiciest watermelon, fresh octopus grilled to perfection, fluffy pitta stuffed with succulent souvlaki, a simple village salad – it’s all incredible. But what I find is my first taste stop each time I arrive on the island is my beloved halloumi. And not the stuff you buy in the supermarkets here; real Cyprus halloumi made with sheep and goat’s milk. Try it once and you’ll never forget how incredible it is.

I landed late and just about caught the supermarket thanks in part to their extended opening hours (finally, they stay open later than 7pm!!!) and grabbed some local plums, garlic chives, tahini, lemons and halloumi. I didn’t really know what I was planning, but I went ahead and threw this salad together and found myself extremely pleased with the result. The saltiness and creaminess of halloumi teamed with the subtle sweetness of plums are good enough on their own, but add the nuttiness of sesame seeds and tahini into the mix and a kick of garlic and you’ve got yourself one plate of satisfaction.

I hope you enjoy this weird and wonderful flavour combination as much as I do!

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Sesame Halloumi + Plum Salad with Garlic Chives

1 block of halloumi cheese, thickly sliced
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 ripe plums, cut into wedges
A few garlic chives, roughly chopped

For the tahini dressing:
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of half a lemon

Coat the halloumi as best as you can with the sesame seeds. Heat some oil in a frying pan and grill the cheese on each side until golden.

Meanwhile mix together the ingredients for the tahini dressing, adding a little warm water to loosen the consistency. Season with salt to taste.

Plate the grilled halloumi with the plum slices and season with salt and a little pepper. Sprinkle over the garlic chives and drizzle over the tahini dressing.

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14 thoughts on “Sesame Halloumi + Plum Salad with Garlic Chives

  1. My uncle is of the same generation and same age,he too can be a bit pessimistic. He is the oldest now of the 5 remaining brothers and sisters of 8 children and the closest to my dad who was the oldest. Thanks for the recipe it sounds yummy.

  2. Love the sound of this!! Especially the. Sesame crust – yum!

    http://youtube.com/addalittlefood

  3. Sam Dennis says:

    This sounds incredible! Beautiful photos too. I thought plums would work well with hard sheep’s cheese, but hadn’t thought about halloumi. Thanks!

  4. Stunning pictures & the halloumi looks wonderful

  5. Need to try this! Amazing!

  6. thefolia says:

    I visited Cyprus six years ago when my cousin married a Cypriot and was surprised with the intense humidity and the haloumi sold everywhere even at kiosks. I don’t go searching for it here in Southern California but I enjoyed it while in Cyprus. Zito haloumi!

  7. If only I could get my hands on some halloumi in Baltimore,
    MD!! This looks wonderful.

    1. Gabriella says:

      Oh no! Are there any Middle Eastern stores in your area? You might luck in and find they stock halloumi cheese x

      1. That’s a great idea! I’ll check that out. Thanks!

  8. Natty Brookman says:

    Fab recipe! Recently discovered my love of halloumi
    Nat
    http://www.basilandbirdsong.com

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