Friday, 25 October 2013

Lemon and Cayenne marinated Halloumi

Until recently I had never been a fan of this hard but soft cheese. I mean who really likes to chew on something that squeaks every time you bite down on it? But then I tried some on a vegetarian platter that wasn't squeaky and chewy at all and decided that I could, indeed eat this. So I bought a block and seeing as it's not the most flavourful cheese decided to marinade it in some flavours that will pop and excite your taste buds.

Limes, limes, limes. These green little balls of tangy zest remind me so much of my time in Mexico as lemons just weren't available. Used for a range of different things like margaritas, marinades, salad dressings, tequilla, fish and much much more, it just seems to transport me back to temperatures that sore over 30C and the beach. And although not so great for the enamel on your teeth, limes along with other citrus fruit have fab antibacterial properties. Wondered why people always tell you to drink hot lemon and ginger when you have a sore throat?!

Lime and chillies are a match made in heaven, not only in the taste department! I've use chillies a lot {here and here} and I love this flavour combo. A sharp taste followed by a peppery hit which is soothed by the sharpness of the lime. It's perfect! If I had a pestle and mortar I would have bashed up these tiny chillies up some more to get all the punch out of them and into the marinade but no such luck for me. If you do have one, give them a good bash! And because I didn't, I used ½ tsp of cayenne pepper just to get some more spiciness into the marinade!

Now, let's talk halloumi. Not suitable for vegans, it's quite a weird type of cheese. Even if your a veggie be careful as it is made with rennet and not necessarily vegetarian rennet. This cheese is originally from Cyprus and apparantly dates back all the way to AD390…it's quite unusual in the sense that no acid or acid bacterium is used during it's making. One traditional way of storing halloumi was wrapped in mint leaves. Kind of cool huh!


1 pack of halloumi
1teaspoon of dried {and bashed} chillies
juice of 2 limes/lemons
1tbsp sunflower oil
-if you want your marinade extra spicy, add ½ tsp of cayenne pepper.

Cut halloumi into slices slightly larger than 1cm. In a jar place all the marinade ingredients and give it a good shake. Pack in the halloumi and leave for at least 24hours in the fridge.

To cook, heat a pan, pour some of the marinade in and then lay the slices down. Check to see when colour goes golden brown then turn over. Serve with fresh tomatoes and some microgreens. No need for salt as this cheese is very salty!


  1. This is the cheese they use in "saganaki" no?

  2. It seems, from what I can find out, that anything fried in a small pan is called saganaki…and yes, halloumi is one of the things that are fried :)

  3. appears to be quite similar to the Panela Cheese here in Mexico. I frequently marinate it, but normally with herbs and oil. I'mm need to try this

  4. I have a bit of a confused relationship with halloumi but I'm definitely coming around to it. This looks great.

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