If it seems like it’s been a while since we’ve shared a recipe from the road, it’s because it has been! We actually haven’t done much cooking since we left Europe back in November, and I’ve missed it! I’m excited to share today’s recipe from the road: Grilled Halloumi Wraps.
What is Halloumi?
Halloumi is a “semi-hard, unripened, brined cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk, and sometimes also cow’s milk.” It’s called cheese, but it has a very high melting point and isn’t gooey and melty like most cheeses. Because of its texture, you can do things like grill and fry it, and it will keep its structure. (Chicago folks, you could compare it to Brunkow baked cheese which you may have sampled at the Green City Market).
Halloumi is a popular vegetarian alternative in London, as it packs 17 grams of protein per 80g serving. In fact, my favorite vegetarian versions of British foods, “fish” & chips and English Breakfast, prominently feature halloumi. I’m super bummed that halloumi has not yet infiltrated the vegetarian scene in Chicago. (Unless I’m missing it! Please let me know what I’m missing in the comments!)
How our love affair with halloumi began
We first discovered halloumi when we visited London for the first time a few years ago. We ordered vegetarian fish & chips from The Silver Cross and it immediately became my favorite food. The “fish” was halloumi, and it was thickly battered and fried, served with tarter sauce, lemon, peas and chips. It. Was. Amazing.
Ever since then, The Silver Cross was pretty much the first place we went anytime we were in London. When we showed up this time, though, we immediately saw that they were now listed as Vegan (which halloumi is not) Fish & Chips. They had changed the recipe of my favorite food in the world (not to be dramatic or anything).
But onward and upward! We were in London where halloumi is quite popular, and we had an Airbnb with a kitchen for two weeks. All we needed to do was track down some halloumi and cook it up ourselves! And fortunately for us, just about every grocery store we went to was stocked with our favorite cheese.
When in doubt, make a wrap
I have never fried anything before, and I wasn’t planning to start now. Recreating the fried halloumi was out of the question, but I was all in for grilling it. The obvious and best decision was to make wraps. Wrapping veggies and protein in a tortilla has always been a staple in our lives, and we were stoked to try them with halloumi.
Wraps are perfect for travelers cooking at Airbnbs. They don’t require many utensils (plate, knife, maybe a frypan), so even the most basic Airbnb should be equipped for wrap making. And because they’re so easy to make, there’s usually very little cleanup and dishes required.
The best thing about wraps for travelers, though, is that they’re so versatile. You can fill them up with whatever is available wherever you are. The ingredients are usually simple, too, so you can take them with you if you’re hopping between locations. (I have an onion, tortillas and cherry tomatoes in my backpack right now on the train from London to Amsterdam.)
So without any further ado, let’s make some grilled halloumi wraps!
Grilled Halloumi Wraps
- 4 Tortillas (small size)
- 1 Avocado, mashed
- 1/2 of a Tomato, chopped (or grape tomatoes, quartered)
- 1/4 of a Red Onion, chopped
- 4 Tablespoons salsa or condiment of choice (We used salsa or balsamic, but other good ideas would be ranch, bbq sauce, or a spicy mustard)
- 1/4 cup shredded cheese (optional)
- 1 package halloumi, cut into 1/3” slices (2 slices per wrap)
Part 1: Prepare the Toppings
- Slice and chop all ingredients as instructed in the ingredient list.
- Spread 1/4 of the mashed avocado onto each wrap.
- Top with the remaining toppings (tomato, onion, sauce, and shredded cheese)
Part 2: Prepare the Halloumi & Serve
- Drizzle a skillet with vegetable oil and head the pan over medium-high heat.
- When the pan is hot, carefully add your sliced halloumi. Saute untouched for about 2-3 minutes until browned on the bottom.
- Note: All of the liquid will come out of the halloumi at first. Once the liquid has cooked out of the pan and the halloumi looks firm, it’s usually perfectly browned.
- Flip the halloumi and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the other side is browned.
- Remove from heat.
- Add two slices of halloumi to each of the prepared tortillas. Serve.
Note: I’ve also replaced the tortillas with butter lettuce and made a salad with the same ingredients, topped with balsamic and olive oil, and it was also delicious.
Yields 2 servings (4 wraps)