pan-fried halloumi cheese with a sweet & tangy mixture of olives, hazelnuts, shallots, and dried apricots
serves: 8-10 (appetizer portions)
½ cup hazelnuts
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
½ cup dried apricots, chopped
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 lb halloumi cheese
flour, as needed
½ cup olives, halved (kalamata, castelvetrano, etc.)
crackers or toasted bread
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Spread the hazelnuts onto a baking sheet. Roast for about 8-10 minutes until golden. Let cool slightly. Use a kitchen towel to rub the skins off (it’s okay if some stay on). Roughly chop the hazelnuts and set aside. Lower the oven to 300°F.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt. Let sauté until softened, caramelized, and somewhat crispy, stirring often. Stir in the apricots, honey, and red wine vinegar. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Cook for a minute or so until slightly reduced. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Slice the halloumi cheese into ½” rounds. Toss with enough flour just to coat the slices on all sides.
Heat another skillet over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to come up the sides about a ¼ of an inch. Once the oil is hot, work in batches to fry the halloumi cheese until golden, about 2-3 minutes per side (shake off any excess flour as you add the cheese to the pan).
Remove the halloumi cheese and season with a pinch of salt. Keep warm in the oven until the rest of the cheese is fried.
Meanwhile, heat the shallot mixture back over medium heat. Stir in the hazelnuts and olives. Cook another minute or so.
Serve the halloumi with the shallot mixture spooned over top. Add a drizzle of olive oil to finish. Serve with crackers or toasted bread.