Valerie Aikman-Smith and Victoria Pearson uncover all that’s zesty, sour and sweet in Citrus.
Halloumi is a wonderful salty cheese from Cyprus that is great to cook with because it holds its shape when heated. Add a splash of ouzo to deepen the flavors of this dish. Top with the fragrant salsa and serve with icy-cold beer.
- To make the salsa, rinse the lime quarters under cool running water, remove and discard the flesh, and finely dice the skins. In a bowl, combine the lime skins, cucumber, mint, oil, and lime juice and mix well. Set aside.
- Place a large cast-iron or other heavy frying pan over high heat until smoking. Turn down the heat to medium, pour in the oil, swirl the pan to coat the bottom evenly, and then carefully add the cheese slices in a single layer. Halloumi cooks quickly, so check it almost immediately. When the underside is golden brown, flip the slices and cook on the second side for 1 to 2 minutes, until golden brown. Pour the ouzo into the pan, swirl, and allow the alcohol to burn off and reduce, about 2 minutes.
- Place the cheese on a serving platter and top with the salsa. Sprinkle with the sumac and serve immediately with the pita.
- Pour about 2 tablespoons of the salt onto the bottom of a sterilized 1-quart jar with a tight-fitting lid and top with a layer of lime wedges. Continue to fill the jar with alternating layers of salt and lime wedges, packing the fruit down as you go and finishing with a layer of salt. Pour the lime juice into the jar. If the limes are not covered by the juice, add water as needed to cover them.
- Screw on the lid tightly and store the limes in the refrigerator for 1 month before using. They will keep for up to 6 months longer. To use the limes, rinse off the salt under cool running water, remove and discard the flesh, and use the skins as desired.
Reprinted with permission from Citrus, by Valerie Aikman-Smith and Victoria Pearson, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.