Apricot halloum bites


My brother, who for many years called Paris (France) home, asked me the following (very French) question last summer: Do you know how to pair Lebanese cheeses with fruits? I had to admit the idea never crossed my mind. So in the course of the year, I started thinking about what would go with what. Halloum is a Cypriot cheese, but it is so popular in Lebanon that many people consider it a Lebanese cheese. (It is produced locally as well).

Halloum is one of those cheeses that should be fried in butter for its flavor and texture to stand out; today, I am suggesting pairing it with fresh apricots, pan-fried as well, for a quick and delicious appetizer or light lunch (depending on how many you consume!).

I was up at 6AM to take photos of Moallem (Master) Philippe, a seasoned farmer, while he was perched on the apricot tree. A bit dangerous don’t you think?

INGREDIENTS: 4 servings

  • 12 sweet and ripe apricots
  • 12 squares of Halloum cheese
  • unsalted butter, as needed
  • 1/4 cup of sugar or 3 tbsp of apricot preserves
  1. Place 1/4 cup of butter in a large skillet. Split the apricots in half and place them round side down on the skillet; fry till they soften, adding a few pinches of sugar or the preserves half-way through. Remove from the skillet and keep warm in the oven.
  2. Place the squares of Halloum in the skillet, adding more butter as needed (to prevent the cheese from sticking); fry the squares 3 minutes on each side over medium-high heat and remove from the skillet and place over the apricot halves. Serve immediately.
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  1. Posted June 30, 2012 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Une recette à tester très vite.
    A bientôt

  2. Posted June 30, 2012 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    I love this combination!! What a treat.

  3. Posted June 30, 2012 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    I have received a similar Greek cheese as a gift. Peaches are at their peak right now and this dish could be made too with minor changes.

    Apricots are lovely.


  4. Posted June 30, 2012 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    I love the combination of apricots and feta – I’m sure halloumi would be equally delicious!

  5. Posted June 30, 2012 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Great flavors!



  6. Posted June 30, 2012 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    That’s a perfect bite and I love the rosemary spear.

  7. Posted June 30, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Joumana, yet another lovely and delicious looking post. Tell me, can you think of any other cheeses that may be good for this recipe, ones readily available in the states? We are cheesed challenged here at times. Best wishes, Tom

  8. Posted June 30, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Joumana dear – I had to let out a deep and heavy sigh upon seeing these. What I would give for just one taste – right now! Incredible!

    chow :) Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  9. Joumana
    Posted June 30, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    @Tom: I would use bocconcini (those tiny mozzarella balls) with a drop of lemon on top once they are panfried. Try any cheese that suits you actually, why not?

  10. Posted July 1, 2012 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    The branches don’t look large enough to support their weight!
    Some of my favorite dishes are made with roasted or browned fruit. Never have used apricots that way, but I think this would be delicious. Your photo is so summery looking, Joumana!

  11. Posted July 1, 2012 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    what a yummy, refreshing combination – hallumi also work so well with fresh or baked figs, I used the pick them at my grandmother’s garden, amazing fruit. thanks for the inspiration!

  12. Elena
    Posted July 1, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Very interesting combination!

  13. Posted July 1, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    The apricots looks so ripe and sweet, it must be a nice contrast to the cheese.

  14. Posted July 2, 2012 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Cheese combined with fruit is a delicious combination – I often make Feta and Watermelon Salad – with coriander, black olives and red onion slices presoaked in lime juice.

    One for your book reviews which I am enjoying cooking my way through at the moment is Suzanne Husseini’s ‘When Suzanne Cook’s’. I brought it with me to Lebanon this Summer and it prompted me to investigate food blogs on Lebanese cookery – the reason I found your blog.

  15. Joumana
    Posted July 2, 2012 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    @JaneD: Interesting! Thanks! I will check out this book as well!

  16. Posted July 3, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    I love both halloumi and apricots, and I would kill for a bite of this treat right now. Great idea!

  17. Posted July 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    This reminds me of an even tastier version of warm brie and apricot preserves (and much fresher, to be sure). I hope he didn’t fall out of the tree!

  18. Posted July 5, 2012 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Le haloumi qu’on trouve ici ets toujours très très salé. Il y a un truc pour l’adoucir ou est-ce qu’on le mange vraiment comme ça ? J’en ai fait des feuilletés l’autre jour, avec des feuilles de bricks, et c’était limite, quand même …Mais peut-être est-ce dû à la qualité du fromage que j’achète ?

  19. Joumana
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    @Hélène: Non, la plupart des halloum sont salés mais je trouve que l’authentique de Chypre (Pitta) un peu moins; le truc que font toutes les ménagères au Liban c’est de tremper le fromage dans l’eau fraiche un quart d’heure, puis de jeter l’eau et de recommencer plusieurs fois; au bout de 2 heures, le fromage est complètement désalé! :)

  20. Joumana
    Posted July 6, 2012 at 1:25 am | Permalink

    @Susan: He is a seasoned farmer, with over 50 years experience! I am learning a bunch from him and his wife!

  21. Posted February 7, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Hi! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow youu if that would be okay.
    I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new

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