2000s Recipes + Menus

Grilled Haloumi Cheese and Lemon

Serves4 (first course)
  • Active time:20 min
  • Start to finish:40 min
June 2007
This is what the Greeks mean by grilled cheese: smoky on the outside, tender and salty within, but not a traditional sandwich. Vegetarian guests at the barbecue finally have something to look forward to. View more modern classics that are just like mom’s, except better.
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 lb Haloumi cheese
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 (3/4-inch-thick) slices peasant or country-style bread
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • Prepare a gas grill for direct-heat cooking over moderately high heat; see “Grilling Procedure.”
  • Cut 8 thin slices from lemons, then squeeze enough juice from remainder to measure 2 tablespoons and put in a bowl.
  • Halve cheese diagonally, then cut each triangle, cut side down, into 1/3-inch-thick slices.
  • Mince garlic and mash to a paste with a pinch of salt using side of a large heavy knife, then add to lemon juice. Whisk in salt and sugar until dissolved, then add 1/4 cup oil, whisking until combined.
  • Separately toss lemon slices and cheese each with 1/2 tablespoon dressing.
  • Brush both sides of bread with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
  • Grill bread, cheese, and lemon slices on grill rack, covered, turning over once (use a metal spatula to scrape under cheese to loosen before turning), until bread is toasted (2 to 3 minutes total), grill marks appear on cheese (3 to 4 minutes total), and lemons begin to wilt (4 to 6 minutes total).
  • Whisk dill into remaining dressing. Divide bread among 4 small plates and top with cheese and lemon slices. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.
Cooks’ note: If you aren’t able to grill outdoors, bread, lemon, and cheese can be cooked in a hot oiled well-seasoned large (2-burner) ridged grill pan over moderate heat.
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