Bust out the charcoal, the tongs, and your sweet outdoor apron, because today we’re gettin’ our grill on, Wisconsin style. It’s Fourth of July week, and as a nation of free-thinkers, adventure-seekers, and big-idea believers, it’s only appropriate that we celebrate our independence by pushing the boundaries of BBQ. One bite of Grilled Halloumi Cheese with Fresh Cherry Salsa, and you’ll be singing the “The Star Spangled Banner.”
I’m teaming up with California Olive Ranch for a summer grilling extravaganza. We’re bringing you regional grilling recipes from across the USA, and I’m honored to be representing Wisconsin and the greater Midwest. Here in Dairyland, cheese reigns supreme, and I can imagine no tastier way to enjoy than hot off the grill, in its oozy, toasty glory.
Yes friends, we are literally grilling cheese. This is the guilty pleasure of eating the skillet-charred grilled cheese sandwich overflow directly off the griddle, without the fuss of bread interfering. You know you do it too.
Grilled Halloumi Cheese is pure picked-from-the-griddle cheese overflow, with fireworks. Halloumi, which originated in Cyprus, is the ideal cheese for grilling, because its firm texture and high melting point allows it to be cooked directly on the hot grill plates. If you haven’t tasted Halloumi previously, its flavor is similar to a mild feta and heaven.
Serve a plate of hot, toasty Grilled Halloumi Cheese at your Fourth of July BBQ, and you’ll be a grilling guru; serve it with Mediterranean-inspired Fresh Cherry Salsa, and you’ll be a legend. Wisconsin Door County cherries—which receive a cult following up north and are greeted with the fervor of preteens at a Justin Bieber concert—inspired my regional recipe (and are wonderful), but any sweet, juicy cherry you can find will be simply fabulous.
As a nod to Halloumi’s Cyprian origin, Fresh Cherry Salsa packs bright Mediterranean flair with basil, balsamic, and red onion. Sweet and savory, the Fresh Cherry Salsa also creates a delightful warm-cool temperature sensation when served atop the Grilled Halloumi Cheese. Smother generously. Any leftover fresh cherry salsa can be used in salads throughout week, though the chef personally recommends that you devour it immediately with a spoon.
The final key component of this recipe is California Olive Ranch Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. One of the best aspects of grilling is that you need few ingredients to create a flavor-rich dish. Take our Grilled Halloumi: With just cheese and olive oil, we’ve created paradise on a plate. Because California Olive Ranch’s extra-virgin olive oil is high quality, its flavor improves and complements the Grilled Halloumi.
- If you haven’t grilled with olive oil previously: A whole new door to delicious just opened. Olive oil pairs well with a wide range of grilled dishes, offers health benefits, and (particularly in the case of California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil) tastes lovely. Triple Bonus.
- If you are new to the grill: Fear not. All you need is a little attitude. Remind yourself that everything tastes better on the grill, and you will be far more successful than you have ever imagined.
- If you don’t have a grill: Get your fix indoors! A preheated skillet (preferably cast iron) will toast the Halloumi cheese nicely.
- If it’s raining the day of your grill-out: I once held an umbrella over my father in a torrential downpour while he finished flipping our burgers. Now that’s American perseverance.
To celebrate summer grilling, California Olive Ranch is hosting a loaded grilling giveaway on their Facebook page, as well as a smaller giveaway right here on The Law Student’s Wife. Friends, this is bonkers. Check it out!
For the grand grilling giveaway, visit the California Olive Ranch Facebook page to enter to win one of these incredible prizes:
- Grand Prize (1 winner)
- Weber Genesis S-310 Stainless-Steel 637-Square-Inch Grill
- 12 bottles of California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil: 3 x Every Day Fresh and 1 Kitchen Essentials (includes 3 x 500ml bottles)
- 3 Grilling Cookbooks
- 6, 14-ounce Traditional Cut Ribeye Steaks from Double R Ranch
- VISA Gift Card
- Runners Up (3 Winners)
- 1 Set Kitchen Essentials California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil (includes 3 x 500ml bottles)
- 1 Grilling Cookbook
- 2, 14-ounce Traditional Cut Ribeye Steaks from Double R Ranch
You can also win a bottle of California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil right here on The Law Student’s Wife! One lucky reader will receive a 500 ml bottle of Arbequina, the extra virgin olive oil I used in my Grilled Halloumi Cheese with Fresh Cherry Salsa recipe. Its fresh, fruity flavor is ideal for this bright dish, and you will love how it tastes in dressings, marinades, and even on top of ice cream.
**Giveaway ended. Congrats to the winner and thank you to all who entered!**
HAPPY 4th of JULY!
Disclaimer: This recipe is developed by me, on behalf of California Olive Ranch. California Olive Ranch compensated me for my time to develop the recipe and write this post. As always, all thoughts are my own.