For me, pure joy comes from finding the right pairing of cheese and accompaniments. It could be as simple as a sharp pecorino with crunchy, slightly sweet pear, or something a little bolder like a piece of Roquefort on a gingernut biscuit – heaven, trust me. For haloumi, I decided to create a grilling recipe perfect for outdoor barbecues or a quick midweek meal. Grilling is a surprisingly delicious method for haloumi cheese, quickly rendering this squeaky, salty cheese golden and caramelised. Served on a bed of speedy pickled fennel and topped with a punchy, sweet and nutty salsa, this haloumi dish will have you hooked.






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  • 250 g haloumi
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 2-3 thyme sprigs
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season

Pickled fennel

  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed
  • 2 thumb-sized pieces lemon rind
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled, sliced
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) apple cider vinegar
  • 2½ tbsp honey
  • 250 ml (1 cup) water

Pomegranate-pistachio salsa

  • 120 g pomegranate seeds (from approximately 1 pomegranate)
  • 50 g shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) apple cider vinegar
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp caster sugar
  • 1 large handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time 1 hour

For the pickled fennel, slice the fennel very thinly using a mandolin or a sharp knife. Place the sliced fennel into a jar. Add the lemon rind, thyme and ginger. In a small bowl or jug, combine the vinegar, honey and water. Pour into the jar, cover and pop in the fridge for at least 1 hour to pickle.

For the haloumi, cut the haloumi into 1-1.5 cm slices and place in a shallow dish. Place the honey and olive oil in a separate bowl, mix well, then pour over the haloumi. Add the thyme and turn the haloumi a few times in the marinade to make sure the cheese is well coated. Season with salt and pepper. Pop the dish into the fridge for 30 minutes to marinate. If you’re in a hurry, it will still be delicious if only marinated for 10 minutes.

Preheat a barbecue grill to high. When hot, take the haloumi out of the marinade and let the excess drip off. Place on the hot grill plate and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden and crisp. Remove from the grill and set aside to cool slightly.

For the salsa, place the pomegranate seeds, pistachios, vinegar, olive oil, sugar, parsley and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Set aside.

Arrange the pickled fennel on the base of a serving dish, place the slices of haloumi on top and spoon over some of the salsa. 


Recipe from Finger, Fork & Knife by Kate Olsson, with photographs by Kate Olsson.