Serves 6 to 8 | Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 (8-ounce) block halloumi cheese, sliced into ½-inch-thick slabs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Lemon wedges
Finish Line
Saganaki is wonderful drizzled with honey.
Perfect Pair
Serve with Brown Rice Salad with Fennel, Mushrooms, and Walnuts , roasted chickpeas , or Pan-Seared Shrimp with Pistachios, Cumin, and Parsley .
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Named for the small frying pan traditionally used to prepare this dish, Greek saganaki is made by pan-searing slabs of firm cheese until they develop a crisp, golden brown exterior and a satisfyingly warm, chewy interior; a wonderful dish to make after your guests have arrived. The cheese of choice is often halloumi, a brined cheese originally from Cyprus but now popular throughout the eastern Mediterranean. Made from cow’s, sheep’s, or goat’s milk (or a combination), halloumi has an elastic quality similar to that of mozzarella, but it’s firmer. It has a mild though usually quite salty flavor, and you’ll often find it packed in brine and sold in blocks. Because of how it’s made, halloumi has a very strong protein network—which means that when it’s heated, it softens but doesn’t melt. To achieve the classic crisp, golden exterior, dust the halloumi with a mixture of flour and cornmeal before pan-frying. A squeeze of lemon juice offers a bright, tangy finish.
1 Combine cornmeal and flour in shallow dish. Working with one piece of cheese at a time, coat both wide sides with cornmeal mixture, pressing to help coating adhere; transfer to plate.
2 Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Arrange halloumi in single layer in skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to platter and serve with lemon wedges.