I hope you all love breakfast as much as I do.
Because this week is all about the breakfast recipes, and I’m not going to feel bad about it. Technically, this Avocado Toast with Grilled Halloumi and Honey could be breakfast OR lunch, or even a snack, so there’s that. And it is anything but basic, so don’t stop scrolling because this is yet ANOTHER recipe for the OG avocado toast. You are going to make this version with grilled halloumi and honey and you’re going to LOVE it.
First and foremost, have you even heard of halloumi cheese? If so, than you know that it is an amazing, firm, salty Greek cheese that is incredibly versatile – it can be grilled, sautéed, shredded, you name it! And if this is your first time hearing about halloumi cheese, prepare for your mind to be blown.
I was first introduced to the stuff at a little Mediterranean bar and grill in downtown Napa called Tarla. My friend and I were trying it out for the first time, so naturally we asked the waiter what dishes he recommended. He promptly told us we had to get the Saganaki, and boy, am I so glad we did! Not ten minutes later, we had a little cast iron dish of flaming halloumi cheese in front of us, drizzled with truffle honey, accompanied by Chardonnay-infused Turkish apricots and raisins, and served with little toasts to scoop up all the goodness. I was immediately in heaven.
But, that all-too-common fear of the unknown took over and, although I knew you could find halloumi cheese at certain gourmet grocers and specialty stores, it took me these five or so years since I tasted that little bite of heaven to finally buck up and buy some of the cheese to experiment with. This Avocado Toast with Grilled Halloumi and Honey was my first foray into the halloumi world and, let me tell you, I’m never going back.
I touched on it already, but one of the greatest things about halloumi is that, when sliced and grilled or sautéed, it will actually hold its shape and not melt into an oozy puddle. It gets these gorgeous brown grill marks and picks up the flavor of whatever you cook it in.
Because there were already a ton of flavors I planned on loading on this toast, I kept my grilling method simple and cooked the halloumi up in a healthy pat of butter in my cast iron skillet. This gave it the most gorgeous slight char (anyone else here a huge fan of slightly golden-browned cheese?) and the cheese literally soaked up all of that delicious, buttery flavor.
I’m getting ahead of myself, though, because as all good toast does, this Avocado Toast with Grilled Halloumi and Honey starts with high-quality bread. You could essentially use any type of bread for this, but I highly recommend something that’s a slight step up from your average sliced sandwich bread. I used a local bakery’s whole wheat levain and it was absolutely outstanding. Plus, that way you can hand-cut the slices as thick as you want!
So after finding your fave bread and giving it a good toast (either in the toaster or under the broiler in your oven,) we lather on a healthy dose of smashed avocado, then sprinkle on some fresh lemon juice. This acidity will help cut through the richness that both the avocado and the cheese bring to this dish.
The next layer of this ultimate open-faced sammy is the grilled halloumi. Don’t be shy about this, yes, it’s cheese, but it’s sooo worth the little indulgence. We then drizzle on a little honey to bring some sweetness and sprinkle on some chili flakes for spice, the perfect sweet-salty-spicy tri-fecta.
Some might say this Avocado Toast with Grilled Halloumi and Honey is TOO simple of a dish, but sometimes that’s just what we need, especially on a busy Monday. And once you taste this bad boy, you’re going to realize the explosion of flavor is anything but simple.
The classic avocado toast gets a fresh makeover with the addition of grilled Greek halloumi cheese, complimented by fresh lemon juice, honey and pepper flakes!
- 2 large slices thick cut whole wheat levain (or your favorite bread)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 9 ounces halloumi cheese, sliced
- 1 large avocado
- Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- Pinch red pepper flakes
Toast your bread using whichever method you prefer.
Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat on the stove. Add the butter and let it melt. Swirl the pan to coat, then add the sliced halloumi. You can do this in a couple of batches if all of the cheese doesn’t fit at once. Grill the halloumi a couple of minutes on each side, until golden brown. Remove to a plate while you prepare the rest of the toast.
Spread half of the avocado over each slice of toast, smashing down with a fork if necessary. Squeeze the lemon juice evenly over the avocado, being sure not to lose any seeds.
Place the grilled halloumi slices over each piece of toast. You may have one or two slices extra, eat these or save them for later use.
Finish off the toast by drizzling the honey evenly over both pieces of toast and sprinkling on red pepper flakes, based on your spice tolerance. Enjoy immediately.