with Tuscan Kale
Fried Halloumi is like the bacon of cheese! This warm salad is a super tasty addition to any meal but also makes a delicious and satisfying meatless meal.
Salty halloumi cheese has it's origins in Cyprus and is historically made with sheep and goats milk but these days, much of it is made with less expensive cows milk and it is available in most large markets in small packages.
Halloumi is a squeaky fresh cheese until fried, when it's texture changes and it becomes almost like chicken.
Then the salt kicks in and elevates it to a heavenly bite of what I like to call... the bacon of cheese.
This cheese pairs fabulously with the heavy dark leaves of Tuscan Kale and garlic. Also known as dinosaur kale or black kale, it's true name is lacinato kale. It has been popular for centuries in Tuscany and is a traditional ingredient in minestrone soup. It's very thick but wilts down nicely. I like to keep it just a bit crunchy for this dish.
There is so much rich flavor in this dish it might just transport you directly to your own Mediterranean island! Who's ready to give it a try?
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with Tuscan Kale
1 small package halloumi cheese cut into 9 or 10 slices
1-2 large bunches of lacinato kale, stems removed and chopped coarsely
4 cloves of minced fresh garlic
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon or more red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste
Serves 5 -10 as an appetizer or side dish
Serves 3 - 4 as an entree
Heat a large deep skillet with a lid to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic and pepper flakes then stir-fry for 30 seconds. Next add the kale, chicken stock and the rest of the olive oil. Stir, reduce the heat to medium low and cover with lid for 8-10 minutes.
While the kale is cooking, heat a small heavy bottom pan such as cast iron or copper to medium heat for frying the halloumi. When the pan is hot, add the cheese and fry until nicely browned on one side then turn the cheese and fry the other side until browned. Set the pan off the heat until ready to serve.
Check the kale now to see if it's wilted to your taste. We like ours fairly sturdy and 10-15 minutes is often plenty. If you like your kale softer, let it steam, stirring occasionally, a few more minutes with the lid on.
You can serve the cheese over the Tuscan kale in planks as I did, or you can dice it up like croutons for the warm salad.