In blogger Tara O’Brady’s first book, Seven Spoons, she writes about some of the simple, healthy foods that fuel her as a writer, photographer, and eater.
I love halloumi for its squeaking rubberiness, and because it is much more forgiving to cook than feta, even though it still has a similar saline hit. It seems to last forever in the fridge, so with a package of halloumi in one hand and a collection of herbs in the other, there’s the makings of a memorable starter—warm slices of cheese draped in earthy chermoula, a North African dressing.
- In a large, well-seasoned cast-iron pan or heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat, dry roast the chile and garlic until toasted on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.
- In the same pan, toast the coriander and cumin until fragrant, stirring often. It should take about a minute. Process the spices in a grinder or mortar and pestle, then transfer to a medium bowl with the paprika.
- Pile the herbs, garlic, chile, and lemon zest on a board and chop into fine flecks. Rake the mix into the bowl with the spices. Stir in the oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
- Wipe out the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Fry the halloumi in the dry skillet, in batches if needed, until golden, a minute or so on each side. As they’re ready, add the pieces to the chermoula.
- Once all the halloumi is golden and bathed, tip everything out onto a serving plate, being sure to rescue any sauce that lingers in the bowl. Tuck the lemon wedges in and around the cheese. Serve.
Reprinted with permission from Seven Spoons, by Tara O’Brady, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.