This summer we spent several Saturday mornings at the Capital City Farmer’s Market in downtown Boise. I love it. (I’ve posted about it before, here).
One of my favorite things about the market is the cheese booth. It’s actually the Ballard family cheese booth and they make all their cheeses here in Idaho. Then they sell them to people like ME who love cheese. Yum.
One day in late July we were at the market and I made my usual beeline for the cheese booth. I had a few samples, swoon, and then I realized the dude behind the booth was grilling cheese. Yes, grilling. No bread. He added some spice and grilled it in a skillet. Then he handed me a piece and I said, “I’ll take it!”
Turns out it’s Halloumi cheese. Halloumi is a Greek cheese with a high melting point so it can actually be grilled, and slightly browned, without melting.
I immediately started thinking – what can I do with this?
I started looking around my kitchen. Okay, I had half of a baguette (because I love a good baguette and try to keep one on hand most of the time) so I immediately thought sandwich. Then I rummaged in the fridge and found bacon, grape tomatoes, and a spring salad mix. And thus the best BLT+C was born.
I made 4 of these sandwiches and wrapped them up for a picnic. A few hours later when we pulled them out to eat they were just perfect. Crunchy, salty, cheesy, bacony. So yum. Try it.
UPDATE: My husband asked for these again this weekend and I made a couple tweaks that I wanted to share with you. I think this batch was even better than the first!
- We used ciabatta rolls and I grilled them in about 2 tblsp butter in a big skillet on the stove at medium heat until they were deliciously browned. (Buttered the rolls and the pan).
- For my Mayo spread I combined Mayo, Sweet Hot Mustard & Habanero Mustard. It was YUM. Mostly mayo and just a dollop or two each of the other depending on how you like it.
- I grilled the Halloumi in the bacon grease. First I drained almost all the grease out of the pan but then I grilled the cheese on low-medium heat in the same pan. I also sprinkled the cheese with seasoned salt. It was good, but you can omit this step if you want to cut back on the salt.
- We used heirloom tomatoe slices fresh out of a friend’s garden.
- We used a handful of baby arugula that we had bought in a package. We don’t eat a ton of arugula, but we can share it with our tortoise, Bob. (The arugula, not the sandwich).
End result was deliciousness. The tomato and mayo spread just oozed up into the airy ciabatta bun making the sandwich messy and good. The Halloumi was squeaky and tasty. Just a perfect sandwich. My husband told me no less than 5 TIMES how much he enjoyed it.