This epic dish combines honey-caramelized haloumi with a tart hint of lemon zest, chewy pearl barley and a scattering of fresh herbs. Made from sheep’s milk, haloumi is a Greek cheese that has a high melting point that makes it perfect for grilling or pan-frying. Pearl barley is an often-overlooked grain that has a gorgeously chewy texture and a nutty taste.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ brown onion, peeled and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 300 g (10 ½ oz) pearl barley
- 800 ml (1 ½ pint) good quality vegetable stock
- 4 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Honey and lemon haloumi
- 2 lemons, halved
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 250 g (9 oz) haloumi, cut into 1 cm (½ inch) thick slices
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 4 sprigs oregano
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
1. To cook the barley, add the butter and olive oil to a saucepan over a medium heat. When bubbling, add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is just translucent. Add the pearl barley. Toss to coat and cook for a further 2–3 minutes stirring continuously. Pour in the stock and simmer, uncovered, until the barley is tender but retains a slight bite, about 35 minutes. Set aside. When ready to serve, stir through flat-leaf parsley.
2. Bring a grill pan or barbeque to medium heat. Place 4 lemon halves, cut side-down and cook until charred. Remove and set aside.
3. Add olive oil to a large frying pan and bring to medium-high heat. Add haloumi and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drizzle honey around the haloumi and add oregano and lemon zest. Allow to bubble up and caramelize, about 2 minutes. Be careful not to let it burn.
4. Divide pearl barley between bowls. Top with haloumi and drizzle with any remaining sauce left in the pan. Serve each bowl with a char-grilled lemon half.
Images: New Holland Publishers. Photographer Kyle Manning; Stylist Jane Graystone.