Yes, that’s a mouthful, but a downright delicious one. This dish is a collection of contradictions that team up to create what I can most aptly describe as Party in my mouth! Think hot, salty halloumi, crunchy on the outside, oozy on the inside; cold, sweet watermelon, fresh mint, spicy sumac and chilli… Do yourself a favour and make this dish right now.
So I had to buy watermelon three times to make this dish. The first two times, the watermelon was devoured in thick slices, either straight off the chopping board, or standing in front of an open fridge (bad habit, I know).
I eventually managed to maintain enough self-discipline to hold off on the watermelon until I could complete this dish, and it was absolutely worth the wait!
A few things to keep in mind when making this:
- Use cold watermelon, and then put the salsa in the fridge for a little while. The contrast of hot and cold is what makes this special.
- Cook the halloumi just before serving – cold halloumi is just not fun.
- Don’t overdo it with the chilli. You’re going for a gentle bite here, not a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick.
Sesame Sumac Crusted Halloumi with Watermelon, Mint and Chilli Salsa
Serves 2-4 as an appetizer
- 250 g halloumi
- 1 tbsp sumac
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- olive oil to coat
- 3 – 4 thick slices of watermelon
- 1/2 a bunch of fresh mint leaves
- 1 bird’s eye chilli
- a generous hunk of lemon, for serving
- Make the salsa: Cut the watermelon into small cubes. Finely slice the mint. Slice the chilli diagonally. Mix the watermelon, chilli and mint and put the salsa in the fridge so that the flavours can amalgamate and the salsa can chill while you make the halloumi.
- Cut the halloumi into wide slices, coat with olive oil and then sprinkle the sumac and sesame onto the halloumi.
- Cook on a hot griddle pan till golden brown.
- Serve the halloumi hot, topped with the salsa and a wedge of lemon.