I Ate This: Swiss Riverside Picnic

Ever so often weather permitting, the better half and me set out for a picnic at the picturesque riverbanks of river Aare in Switzerland, basking in the evening sun and enjoying a simple, traditional meal of bread, cured meat and cheese (sometimes with pickles, onions or olives on the side). The “cold platter” is a staple dish in every Swiss restaurant, showcasing regional produce without much ado – Swiss picnic is all about pure taste and great products.


Leaving work after five today, it was too sunny and lovely to go home and crash on the couch (of course that’s still a possibility for a later time because TV shows!), so we grabbed some of the finest Mostbröckli, an assortment of Gruyères / Emmentaler / Appenzeller / Tilsiter cheeses and traditional Zopf for a simple and yummie outdoor dinner. Sometimes less is more.

When’s the last time you enjoyed a spontaneous picnic somewhere out in the blue?

River Aare


Recipe: Seared Halloumi Cheese on Watermelon

Halloumi is a very salty cheese from Cyprus / Greece that can be bought in specialty stores or larger supermarkets. Unlike other cheese, Halloumi remains firm when grilled or pan-seared, with a crispy outside and creamy center. In combination with fresh watermelon, the saltyness of the rich cheese is a flavor sensation, making for a delicious and light summer dish that takes no more than 10 minutes to prep and serve.


~ Ingredients ~
(serves two people for a main dish or four people as starter)

  •  1/4 of a small watermelon (cooled)
  • 200-250 grams Halloumi cheese
  • Fresh mint (ca. 10 leafs)
  • Olive oil

Get a quarter of a small watermelon cooled from the fridge. Slice into  6-8 triangle shaped pieces and arrange on your plates.

Cut the Halloumi cheese into medium thick slices, the way you would slice mozarrella cheese. Pan-sear in your best oilve oil for approx. 5 minutes, until both sides got a crispy, golden crust. The cheese is quick to overcook and get rubbery, so make sure it does not sear beyond a light, golden color(!)

Arrange the seared Halloumi on each of your watermelon slices. Quickly throw the fresh mint leafs into the still hot and oily pan. Stir for no more than 1 minute, so the leafs can curl up and get crispy. Sprinkle the mint and remaining olive oil over the melon and cheese. Serve immediately while the Halloumi is still hot.

Enjoy! ~ Kalí óreksi!


It’s the color in the middle you want to aim for.

Syl writes over @ mmogypsy.com – a blog about video game design, MMOs, RPGs and high adventure. She also co-hosts the Battle Bards VGMusic podcast and can be contacted via twitter @Gypsy_syl.