Grilled Corn and Halloumi Cheese Salad

Dates Cooked: August 13, 2023, September 6, 2023

Labor day is coming up in the States; if you are going to or hosting a end-of-the-summer party and agreed to bring a salad or side dish but either don’t know what to make or want a change from your same ol’ same ol’ here is the recipe. Tom and Melissa made this stand out dish for a friends and family event to celebrate the memory and birthday of my good friend Jay. I asked for the recipe and they obliged; it comes from The Kitchn web site. We made it for the welcome home dinner for Andrew, Henriët and the boys’ return from South Africa. Everyone loved it; so much so, I’m making it again for our Labor Day dinner.

It a fairly simple recipe with just a few ingredients.

Ingredients for Grilled Corn and Halloumi Cheese Salad

I had never heard of two ingredients for this salad: Halloumi cheese and Peppadew peppers. I found the Halloumi cheese easily enough in our market cheese section. But I couldn’t find the Peppadew peppers at the two stores I searched; so I substituted the jarred Sweet Piquillo Peppers seen above.

Subsequently, I learned that these two ingredients are well known in South Africa and Henriët suggested checking the olive bar at the grocery store for the peppers. Today I found these “Sweety Pep” peppers and think they may be the real meal deal. I’m using these for the dish this Sunday and will let you know how it turns out.

“Sweety Pep” Peppers which I’ll use this coming weekend when I make the dish again

The first step is to shuck the corn and get a little char on it. I used the grill but you can easily do this in a cast iron or other heavy pan on the stove top. Now, I love grilled corn on the cob and the next recipe step was a revelation to me. One of those small “Duh! Why haven’t I ever thought of doing this?” moments. Prior to grilling I sprayed a little oil on the shucked ears of corn. Wow! It really helped get a bit of char and did it quickly.

LIghtly oiled corn on the grill.

This looks so good to me – a perfect start to Mexican street corn when you want to go that direction.

LIghtly charred ears of corn for the salad.

I let it cool for a while before cutting the kernels off the cob.

Corn: lightly grilled and cut off the ears.

I did the corn prep earlier in the afternoon before getting down to the rest of the meal closer to dinner time.

While eating the dish when celebrating Jay’s memory I asked Tom and Melissa “What are these incredibly tasty little brown and white bits in the corn?” Answer: Halloumi cheese. This is the second cheese-that-that-doesn’t-melt I have ever heard about. Back in April I made Paneer Tikka Masala (for some reason I haven’t blogged about it.) but that cheese doesn’t have much any taste to it. Halloumi cheese just says “Hold my beer!” It brings a bit of salt and creaminess to the party. Cube it and sauté it in a bit of olive oil.

Sautéing Halloumi cheese

After a while it begins to brown, but not melt. Notice I’m using a non-stick skillet. I don’t know what would happen in a cast iron, carbon steel, or stainless steel skillet.

A little color on the Halloumi cheese.

Once the cheese has some color add the corn in and mix it up a bit. The recipe actually doesn’t call for warming the two ingredients together in the skillet; I did it because my corn was not hot off the grill.

Corn and Halloumi cheese warming together.

At the end move the ingredients to a serving bowl and add the peppers (which you previously chopped up). The last step is to add the dressing which consists of lemon juice, some of the brine from the peppers, olive oil, and some honey. Whisk well to combine then mix into the solid ingredients.

Grilled corn and Halloumi cheese salad dressed and ready for the table.

For the main course I cooked a salmon fillet on a cedar plank previously soaked in water.

Cedar planked salmon on the grill
Cedar planked salmon ready to be portioned.

That’s a leave-in meat probe sticking out of the salmon in the back.

Dinner is served.

Grilled corn and Halloumi cheese salad with cedar planked salmon and olive ciabatta bread.

This stuff is seriously good. As I mentioned, Henriët is familiar with both the cheese and peppers; she was inspired to create some Halloumi cheese and zucchini skewers for dinner the next weekend.

Rating: ★★★★ A very solid 4 stars

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