Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Today’s post and recipe is a shout out to our dear Cypriot friends in North Cyprus.

I keep telling Umut I just might head down there in the fall and help out with his family’s olive harvest. By October, we could have snow already here in Warsaw so I think I should have a backup plan that includes sunshine.

This week, I finally harvested my first batch of arugula grown on our spacious 40-meter terrace. I have so much space I don’t know what to do with it all, which is drastically different from my Apartment Gardening in Istanbul. I started the arugula seeds in May shortly after we moved in, and seven weeks later they have been growing like weeds from all the rain.
What goes great with homegrown arugula? Why grilled halloumi cheese from Cyprus, of course! Luckily, we recently discovered the cutest cheese shop near our apartment called La Fromagerie, which specializes in imported cheeses.
Halloumi is a traditional semi-hard cheese in Cyprus that has a high melting point, so it can easily be fried or grilled. It’s a popular cheese in Greece too.

While I do love halloumi cheese, I especially was excited to find a familiar food from our Turkey trips. I’ve been missing our Turkish friends, Turkish food and just about everything (except the traffic) from Istanbul. I laughed when my husband noticed the label said the cheese was from Nicosia, Cyprus.
For dinner, I make a fresh salad nearly every night. I used a generous cutting of arugula, plus sliced tomatoes and cucumbers and the grilled halloumi cheese topped with a garlic-nar-olive oil dressing. We liked this salad so much I made it two nights in a row.

Whether you are in Poland, Turkey or America, I hope you enjoy this summer salad as much as we did!

Smacznego! (Bon appétit in Polish)

Arugula Salad with Grilled Cypriot Halloumi Cheese
Serves 2

A good bunch               fresh arugula
2          medium           tomatoes, diced
1          ea.                    cucumber, sliced
100      g.                     Halloumi cheese
As needed                   olive oil and dried oregano

For the dressing:
1          ea.                    garlic clove, finely minced
1          T.                     Turkish olive oil
1          T.                     nar ekşisi sosu (pomegranate molasses)
To taste                       salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Alternatively, you can emulsify the ingredients better if you pulse in a small food processer for a minute.

2. Then heat a kitchen grill or frying pan over medium-high heat.

3. Slice the halloumi cheese about ¼-inch thick. Set aside on a cutting board. Brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with dried oregano.

4. Place the halloumi in the hot grill pan, giving the slices a minute or two on each side. The cheese will soften slightly as it cooks and get slightly browned.

5. In a medium-sized salad bowl, toss the arugula, tomatoes and cucumbers with the dressing. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed. Serve the pieces of halloumi over the salad and eat immediately.

La Fromagerie
Ul. Burakowska 5/7
01-066 Warsaw
Phone: (22) 465 23 24

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BacktoBodrum said...

Your terrace rocket is better than my garden grown leaves.

Joy said...

@Annie, Beginner's luck, I guess! ;-) It's been cooler and rainy here too. And not many bugs up on the rooftop!

Ozlem's Turkish Table said...

gorgeous hallumi salad - what a pair with aragula too!!: ) cok selamlar, Ozlem :)

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i love hallumi! i will make this salad soon. that is a very nice arugula harvest! how do you pronounce 'bon appetit' in polish?

Unknown said...

Hi Joy! I like the look of La Fromagerie! Looks promising! Sounds to me as if you are getting to grips with Warsaw and what it has to offer. Did I read that you are coming our way very soon?? Let me know, Ok - not that I am v mobile at the moment :((

Joy said...

@Ozlem, thanks dear!

@Joyce, Well, it kind of sounds like this: smaahtch-ZNEH-gaw. Learning Polish is going to be difficult!

@Claudia, So sorry to hear about your accident! Yes, I'll be in Istanbul July 14-21. Hope to see you there at some point! :-)

Julia said...

This salad looks perfect for summer. We love halloumi (or helim as we call it here) grilled on the barbecue. Mmmm, might have to get the barbecue out at the weekend! :)

Joy said...

@Julia, Enjoy! We have plenty of room for a BBQ here so we need to get one soon! :-)

Nevra Lizna Ahmet said...

Ahh! Great recipe, Joy, fantastic flavours and moreover, what a great way to get your greens! They're so important xoxo

Mary B said...

Great idea, Joy! I am going to get my hands on some Halloumi this weekend. Not a big fan of arugula, but chiffonaded chard would work too. I love the dressing - perfect salad for hot weather and a lamb kebab - come for dinner on Saturday!

Joy said...

@Nevra, I love arugula! It's so tasty!

@Mary, thanks for the invite! I'm making kebabs tonight with half lamb/half beef. Having our first Turkish friend over for dinner here in Warsaw. :-)

Kate said...

Great post!

Alisa Camplin said...

Thanks for sharing this post with us! Halloumi cheese is extremely delicious, completely agree with you! I like eating it as an independent dish. Cyprus cuisine is famous well beyond the island and people all over the world love it, I'm not an exception :) Have you tried any other Cypriot dishes? What about meze or moussaka?