Your broiler brings out halloumi's chewy, crispy best for these cauliflower pitas

  • Try this recipe for charred cauliflower and halloumi pitas with harissa. The spicy harissa and peppery arugula pull everything together, but halloumi is the star.

    Try this recipe for charred cauliflower and halloumi pitas with harissa. The spicy harissa and peppery arugula pull everything together, but halloumi is the star. Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post, food styling by Bonnie S. Benwick

 
By Joe Yonan
The Washington Post
Updated 4/9/2019 11:41 AM

If you don't know it already, you owe it to yourself to try halloumi, the cheese from the island of Cyprus with the high melting point, meaning you can grill, pan-fry or -- as in this recipe -- broil it, and it'll hold its shape. It's high enough in fat and sodium to make it less appropriate for daily eating, perhaps, but it's also high in protein, meaning it's especially good for vegetarians. Bonus: While some traditional European cheeses are made with animal rennet, making them unsuitable for vegetarians, the Mt Vikos brand of halloumi I buy from Whole Foods is made with microbial rennet, which comes from mold.

This recipe comes from the latest book by Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews of the Love and Lemons blog, who employ it brilliantly in a small lineup of ingredients you prep in your broiler, along with cauliflower slabs (which you char) and pita (which you wrap in foil and warm). The finishing touches: generous slathers of spicy harissa (store-bought or homemade) and peppery arugula for a little fresh bite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The halloumi, though, is the star. The broiler turns its edges dark and crispy, while the interior softens a little but remains slightly chewy -- almost squeaky, in the manner of cheese curds. In these sandwiches, it's what you really sink your teeth into.

• Joe Yonan is the Food and Dining editor of The Washington Post and the author of "Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook."

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