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.

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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.

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~ 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!

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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.