Helen Graves’s halloumi with nectaries, tarragon and basil recipe

Barbecued halloumi has fallen out of fashion, which is just a horrible mistake. I love to serve it with perfumed summer fruits like nectarines, and lots of soft herbs. Brushing the halloumi with oil before grilling it stops it sticking to the barbecue, which I think (I hope) is what puts a lot of people off cooking it. It’s an intense, salty cheese, which in my opinion is a selling point.

halloumi with nectarines
Rob Billington

SERVES 2
SETUP Direct cooking
PREP TIME 5 minutes
COOK TIME 5-10 minutes

4 ripe nectarines, stoned and quartered
A little vegetable oil, for cooking the nectarines
Handful of tarragon, leaves picked
Small handful of basil leaves, torn
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp lime juice
500g halloumi, cut into roughly 1cm thick slices
Sea salt

  1. Prepare a barbecue for direct cooking over medium heat.
  2. Brush the cut sides of the nectarines with a little vegetable oil, then grill cut side down over direct heat, turning occasionally with tongs, for about 5 minutes, or until charred and softened.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, dice the grilled nectarines and combine in a bowl with the tarragon, basil, chilli flakes, lemon and lime juices and a little salt.
  4. Rub the halloumi slices with a little vegetable oil to stop them sticking, and grill quickly over direct heat for a minute or so on each side, or until charred. Serve immediately, with the nectarine mixture.

TO COOK INDOORS Preheat a cast-iron griddle pan over a high heat for at least 5 minutes, then rub the nectarines with a little vegetable oil and cook, cut side down, for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until charred and softened. Rub the halloumi with oil and cook for a minute or so on each side, or until charred.

Buy the book

live fireOur recipes are taken from Live Fire: Seasonal Barbecue Recipes and Stories of Live Fire Traditions Old and New by Helen Graves (Hardie Grant, £26). To order a copy for £22.10 with free p&p until 19 May, go to mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937.