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Grilled cheese, sort of.

Big juicy organic AND local tomatoes – what’s better than that?

I admit it. I am an enabler.  Entertaining gives me enormous joy, and cooking for large groups of loved ones gives me immense pleasure. Or even small groups, or even for just one. Cooking is a moving meditation for me – a temporal art I can loose myself in. It’s much the same feeling I get from my yoga practice. Recipe re-creation takes the thrill up to an entirely new level. It’s the challenge of taking one’s favorite recipe and twisting it my way and seeing if they still like it as much or even more – to see if the recipe works.  I started thinking about this last summer when I was asked to make grilled cheese sandwiches for my niece and nephew. I honestly didn’t know the last time I’d eaten grilled cheese but I remembered how I used to love it. What’s not to love – gooey cheese melted on thick crunchy bread, doused in butter. Well, I can think of so much that is wrong with that but I don’t preach (unless I’m requested to). So, like a good aunt, I smiled and said OK, knowing in the back of my healthy head that I was going to have to twist that classic, to feel good about feeding them. I found some Halloumi cheese, some tomatoes, some greens and and cucumbers and asked if they were interested in a Grilled Halloumi Salad instead. Having their little hearts set on grilled cheese, they immediately said no. I made the salad anyway, hoping they’d like it. After a few heart wrenching evil looks from those big beautiful eyes, I got smiles and then a, “can I have more Aunt Lora.”

Grilled Halumi Salad – better than grilled cheese

Grilled Halloumi Salad with Mint Viniagrette

6 oz Halloumi Cheese (preferably organic)
4 organic tomatoes, sliced
½ English Cucumber, sliced
1 large handful organic arugula
1 large handful organic Romaine lettuce

Putting it all together:
Slice the Halloumi into ¼ inch strips

Heat a small skillet on high and sear the cheese in the dry skillet until brown being careful not to burn.

*I often will sprinkle the cheese with chile pepper and then broil , the pepper smokes too much to sear in the pan and may hurt your eyes.

Mint Viniagrette 

1 small handful mint
1 small handful parsley
¾ C olive oil
pinch of cayenne pepper
splash of maple syrup (or honey) *
splash of soy sauce (or tamari)
salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend on high. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Arrange the salad with the Halumi on top. Sprinkle lightly with the dressing.

*as local as possible

Fresh & local halloumi from New York State.