Halloumi, a brined goat’s milk cheese from Cyprus, is having a moment in Australia. On my most recent trip, it seemed to be everywhere! Because it has a high melting point, this firm, somewhat salty cheese can be grilled, fried, or sautéed without losing its shape. You can cut it into cubes, sauté it, then anoint with EVOO and coarse salt. Voila! An easy appetizer.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for the cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or good quality red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 hothouse cucumber, diced
- One head romaine lettuce, washed, dried, and torn
- 12 brined Kalamata olives, drained, pitted, and halved
- 1/2 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley
- 12 ounces of halloumi, cut crosswise into 1/3 inch thick slices
- 4 flatbreads or wraps, or use lettuce leaves for a low-carb option
- 4 tablespoons Greek yogurt
Make the salad: In a bowl, combine the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the lemon juice, and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Whisk to combine. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, olives, and parsley. Toss gently to coat the vegetables with the dressing.
Coat the slices of halloumi with olive oil. (To do this easily, pour some oil on a rimmed sheet pan and gently dredge the cheese through it, coating both sides.) Heat a grill pan to medium and grill the cheese for 1 to 2 minutes per side, turning with tongs or a thin-bladed spatula. (Work in batches if needed.)
Spread each of the flatbreads (or a lettuce leaf) with a tablespoon of the yogurt. Top each with a quarter of the salad and the halloumi. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 — Adapted from olivemagazine.com
Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone champions healthy eating while minimizing dinner dishes with this recipe. Generally, we’ve noticed Aussies love their beets, even putting them on hamburgers.
- 4 medium beets, preferably golden (1 pound total), scrubbed and very thinly sliced
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use
- 1 1/2 pound skinless salmon fillet
- 1 tablespoon each finely chopped fresh chives, flat-leaf parsley, and tarragon
- 3 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 cups mixed baby greens
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 450°F. On a baking sheet, toss the beets with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the beets in the center of the baking sheet forming a bed large enough to hold the salmon. Roast the beets for about 20 minutes, or until tender-crisp.
Place the salmon on top of the beets. Brush the salmon with 1/2 tablespoon of the oil and season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, mix the parsley, chives, and tarragon. Sprinkle all but 1 tablespoon of the mixed herbs over the salmon. Roast the salmon for about 15 minutes, or until cooked to medium-rare (slightly rosy in the center). Remove from the oven. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil, the shallots, lemon zest and juice into the remaining mixed herbs. Season the dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Toss the mixed greens with 2 tablespoons of the dressing. Drizzle the remaining dressing over and around the salmon and beets and serve the greens alongside.
Serves 4 — Recipe from Curtis Stone
If you typically accompany your beef with Port wine or horseradish sauce, trade those for this bright, Asian-inflected “dressing” from Australian chef and restaurateur Kylie Kwong.
- 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 tablespoons peeled fresh ginger, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons shoyu or tamari soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus
- 2 tablespoons, divided use
- 1 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin, preferably center-cut
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup Sea salt
Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a small mixing bowl, combine the scallions, ginger, cilantro, shoyu, vinegar, and brown sugar. Slowly whisk in the 1/4 cup of olive oil. Set aside.
Rub the meat on all sides with the remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, then season with salt. Preheat an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Sear the meat on all sides until nicely browned, turning as needed, 6 to 8 minutes.
Transfer the meat to a rack in a roasting pan. (Line the pan with foil for easier clean-up.) Roast until the internal temperature of the meat is 130°F for medium-rare, about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet. Do not overcook. Let the meat rest, covered with foil, for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with the sauce.
Serves 4 to 6 — Recipe adapted from Tree to Table by Patrice Newell (Penguin Global, 2009)
Australians love their lamb, eating more than ten times per year the amount Americans eat. “Scottadito” translates from the Italian as “burned fingers,” as these chops are so good, people eat them with their fingers as soon as they come off the hot grill.
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, plus extra sprigs for garnish
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 12 lamb rib chops
In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, rosemary, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Place the lamb chops in a shallow dish or resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over them, turning the chops to coat both sides. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Start a fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill. Place the chops on the grill grate over high heat and grill, turning once, 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. The outside will be well seared with the insides still pink.
Transfer to a warm platter, garnish with rosemary sprigs, and serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6 — Recipe adapted from italianchef.com