Welcome to my kitchen! Today, I want to take you on a journey to the sunny island of Cyprus with a recipe that truly embodies the flavors and traditions of this beautiful Mediterranean country – the Traditional Cyprus Sandwich with Halloumi, Onions, and Tomatoes.
This sandwich has been a staple lunch dish in Cyprus for centuries, and it’s easy to understand why. Packed with grilled halloumi cheese, juicy tomatoes, caramelized onions, oregano leaves, and drizzled with olive oil and fresh lemon juice, it’s a delicious combination that satisfies all your senses.
As an Israeli chef, I have extensive experience working with halloumi cheese in different dishes, but this recipe is undoubtedly one of my favorites. The beauty of this sandwich is its simplicity. All you need are some fresh ingredients, good quality bread, and a few minutes in the kitchen to put it all together.
So join me on this culinary adventure as we explore the world of traditional Cypriot cuisine and learn how to make the ultimate halloumi sandwich that’ll transport you straight to the sunny shores of Cyprus. Are you ready? Let’s get cooking!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Have you ever tasted a sandwich that takes you on a journey? A sandwich so flavorful that it transports you to a Mediterranean paradise with each bite? Look no further than the Traditional Cyprus Sandwich with Halloumi, Onions, and Tomato Recipe.
This sandwich is the ultimate halloumi experience. It combines the delicious, tangy flavor of grilled halloumi cheese with the juicy sweetness of fresh tomatoes, the sharpness of red onions, and the earthy aroma of oregano leaves. All these taste sensations are packed between two slices of perfectly toasted bread and drizzled with olive oil.
The magic of this recipe is in its simplicity. Few ingredients provide big flavors when combined skillfully, resulting in a culinary masterpiece. The traditional toasted cyprus sandwich lountza halloumi can also be paired with black olives, lettuce leaf or even some fried halloumi to add to the excitement.
If you’re looking for an adventure in your lunch break or want to transport your family or guests to Cyprus right from your own kitchen, then you will love this recipe. It is an ideal option if you want something quick but hearty to eat that doesn’t skimp on flavor.
So go ahead and give it a try! Get prepared for a culinary experience beyond your wildest expectations.
For this traditional Cyprus sandwich recipe, we will need some fresh and simple ingredients that come together to create a tasty and quick meal. Here is what you’ll need:
- 2 slices of bread (your choice)
- Halloumi cheese, sliced
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1 fresh tomato, sliced
- Oregano leaves
- Olive oil
That’s it! Just a few basic, yet flavorful ingredients are all that’s needed for this delicious Halloumi sandwich. Of course, you may want to tweak or add some extra ingredients according to your taste preference, but these simple ingredients are always a great starting point.
The Recipe How-To
Let’s get cooking! This traditional Cyprus sandwich with halloumi, onions, and tomato is relatively easy to make, so don’t worry about spending too much time in the kitchen. Here’s how to put it all together step-by-step:
- 2 slices of bread
- 1/2 sliced halloumi cheese
- 1 sliced fresh tomato
- 1 sliced red onion
- lettuce leaf
- black olives
- oregano leaves
- olive oil
- fresh lemon
- First, grill the halloumi cheese until it’s golden brown on both sides. This should take about 3 to 4 minutes per side.
- While the cheese is grilling, toast your bread until it’s crispy and golden brown. You can also add some olive oil for extra flavor.
- Once the bread is toasted, add a lettuce leaf to one of the slices.
- Top the lettuce with grilled halloumi cheese followed by sliced tomatoes and red onions.
- Add a few black olives on top along with some oregano leaves to add some herby flavor.
- Drizzle some olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice over the sandwich to finish it off.
- Close your sandwich with the second slice of bread and press down lightly.
And there you have it – our ultimate halloumi sandwich! It’s that simple!
Substitutions and Variations
There are various ways to switch up the traditional Cyprus sandwich with halloumi, onions and tomato recipe. Some easy substitutions include using a different type of cheese such as feta or mozzarella. While feta cheese is not traditional in this recipe, it does bring an extra dose of saltiness that pairs well with the other ingredients.
Adding sliced black olives can also give the sandwich an extra edge of flavor, as can using lettuce leaves instead of bread to make it a wrap. Oregano leaves or a sprinkle of lemon juice can also be added to give it a tangy kick.
For those who are vegetarian or simply seeking a lighter option, grilled portobello mushrooms can replace the halloumi cheese slices. You could also grill some zucchini and eggplant slices for a more hearty, Mediterranean-style sandwich.
If looking for a heartier version, adding some grilled chicken, beef, or lamb along with the halloumi cheese can provide additional protein and flavor.
Another variation is adding some crisp bacon or lountza – a traditional Cypriot smoked ham – to your sandwich along with the halloumi and onions. This will give your toasted Cyprus sandwich that ultimate savory and smoky flavor.
Lastly, you could also try making a halloumi pesto sandwich by spreading some pesto sauce on your bread before assembling your sandwich. Adding some fried halloumi to this sandwich will make it even more mouthwatering!
Remember, don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and flavors until you create the perfect sandwich that suits your taste buds!
Serving and Pairing
Once your traditional Cyprus sandwich with halloumi, onions, and tomato is cooked to perfection, it’s time to serve and enjoy it! This hearty and flavorful meal is best served warm, straight off the grill or griddle.
The sandwich pairs perfectly with a variety of side dishes. One classic pairing would be a simple Greek salad made with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and black olives drizzled with olive oil and fresh lemon juice. The refreshing flavors of the salad work perfectly with the rich and savory flavors of the sandwich.
If you want to add even more depth to your meal, consider serving it alongside potatoes or crispy fries. You could also switch up the sandwich’s toppings by adding a layer of crisp lettuce leaves for added texture and crunch.
One way to really elevate the traditional Cyprus sandwich is to pair it with a glass of dry white wine. I recommend a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Assyrtiko wine, which both have earthy flavors that complement the cheese’s saltiness. Alternatively, a cold pint of local beer can be just what you need for an ultimate summer meal.
No matter how you serve your traditional Cyprus sandwich, its rich and delicious flavors make for an unforgettable meal that is perfect for any time of day – breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
I know that sometimes we want to enjoy their delicious sandwiches without worrying about cooking time. That’s why I always recommend preparing the ingredients in advance and assembling when you’re ready to eat.
If you want, you can prepare the grilled halloumi and onions ahead of time and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. You can also slice the tomatoes and red onion and store them in separate containers until ready to use. When you’re ready to make your sandwich, just pull out the ingredients and assemble.
If you have leftover sandwiches, they should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Keep in mind that the bread may become slightly soggy, but it will still taste delicious.
If you need to reheat the sandwich, I recommend removing any toppings (lettuce leaf, black olives) before microwaving for a few seconds or placing it on a heated pan over medium heat until it’s warm enough to your liking. Don’t forget to add any cold toppings back on before serving!
Remember that this is not a dish that freezes well, so it’s best to only make it when you plan on eating it within 2 days!
Tips for Perfect Results
If you really want to impress your guests and enjoy a flawless Traditional Cyprus Sandwich with Halloumi, onions and tomatoes, then here are some tips that can help you achieve perfection:
1. Get the right bread: A traditional toasted Cyprus sandwich uses local bread, which is thick and fluffy. Look for a substitute that has similar texture such as ciabatta or focaccia.
2. Grill the halloumi cheese well: Grilled halloumi cheese is an essential part of the Cyprus sandwich. Make sure to grill it well on both sides until it’s golden brown with char marks, this unlocks the full potential of Halloumi’s flavor.
3. Season properly: While you can be generous with seasoning grilled Halloumi, try not to overdo cause its high saltiness makes over-seasoning easy. Herbs such as oregano leaves or parsley pair extremely well with Halloumi and can add an interesting depth to your dish.
4. Cut onions thinly: Thinly slicing red onions will not only make them easier to eat in a sandwich but also reduces their harshness and piquancy.
5. Don’t skimp on olive oil: A drizzle of olive oil enhances the overall flavor profile of your Traditional Cyprus Sandwich; use good quality olive oil and add more as desired.
6. Toast lountza separately: Lountza is a traditional Cypriot ham that plays an important part in this sandwich recipe, but don’t toast it in the same pan or grill pan where you’re grilling halloumi, otherwise its distinct flavors will be lost.
Working with these tips can improve your results and help you achieve true culinary excellence in creating the ultimate halloumi, onions & tomato sandwich.
As you prepare to wow your guests with this traditional Cyprus sandwich with halloumi, onions, and tomato recipe, it is essential to keep in mind some frequently asked questions that will help you deliver the best result. From substitutions to meal pairings, the following FAQ section provides useful insight to further enhance your cooking experience.
What is a Cypriot sandwich?
When it comes to a genuine Cypriot sandwich, there’s no skimping on the essentials – lountza, halloumi, juicy tomatoes and crispy cucumbers are a must. Beyond these foundational ingredients, the possibilities are endless.
How do Cypriots eat halloumi?
Hellim is a versatile ingredient that can be enjoyed in various ways. It makes for a great side dish when paired with a juicy and refreshing slice of watermelon during the summer. Besides that, it is also an excellent addition to salads, sandwiches, and can be found in traditional Cypriot breakfasts.
How is halloumi traditionally eaten?
Halloumi cheese is a versatile food that can be served in various ways, either raw, fried, or grilled. In its home country of Cyprus, this cheese is often complemented by cold beverages such as beer, wine, or zivania. Moreover, it’s commonly found in traditional Cypriot meze spreads.
What is Cypriot halloumi?
A classic cheese from the island of Cyprus is halloumi, also spelled haloumi. This cheese is crafted with a blend of milk from goats, sheep, and possibly cows. When consumed, it produces a distinctive squeaking sensation due to its texture.
In conclusion, the Traditional Cyprus Sandwich With Halloumi, Onions and Tomato Recipe is a must-try recipe for all halloumi cheese lovers. With its flavorful combination of grilled halloumi, sliced onions, and fresh tomato slices, this sandwich is an ultimate delight to your taste buds. Using premium quality ingredients like extra virgin olive oil and ripe tomatoes adds up to the richness of the recipe.
Besides being a delicious treat, this traditional Cypriot sandwich is also very versatile. You can substitute or add various other ingredients like black olives, lettuce leaf, oregano leaves, or even grilled lountza for some variation according to your preference.
Also, serving it with a side of Greek salad and a fresh lemon wedge enhances the flavor profile of the recipe just the way it is served in Cyprus.
Regardless of how you choose to make this remarkable dish, it will always leave you satisfied and craving for more.
So go on, try out this recipe today and experience a burst of flavors in every bite. Trust me; you won’t be disappointed!
The Traditional Cyprus Sandwich With Halloumi, Onions and Tomato Recipe
- 1 1 pita bread or 1 hoagie roll
- 4 slices halloumi cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 onion, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 large fresh tomato, sliced
- 1/4 fresh lemon
- fresh oregano leaves (Rigoni leaves)
- lettuce leaf, to serve
- black olives, to serve
- Put 2 teaspoons of the olive oil into a frying pan and cook the onions over a medium heat until soft and slightly coloured, set aside.
- Put the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil into the frying pan and fry the halloumi slices over a medium to high heat on both sides, until golden brown and crispy around the edges.
- Cut the roll in half, and place the halloumi slices on one half and then squeeze the lemon juice over the cooked cheese slices. Sprinkle a few oregano leaves over the cheese before adding the sliced tomatoes and cooked onions.
- Place the other half of the roll on top of the cheese and the filling. Gently press the two halves together.
- Put the filled roll into a pre-heated griddle, Panini, George Foreman or sandwich grill for about 2 minutes, or until the bread roll is crisp and golden brown.
- Serve immediately with fresh lettuce leaves and a handful of black olives -- and don't forget the ice cold Keo or Efes beer!
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