← Back to Search Results
baking, pan-frying, sauteeing Greek, mediterranean
Fried Haloumi Cheese with Pear and Spiced Dates Recipe-18568

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 1


Haloumi is a sheep’s milk cheese from Cyprus. It’s brined like feta but it has a firm texture that is perfect for frying. There is no need to bread or flour the cheese before frying; you don’t even need to use oil in the pan. The cheese browns naturally from the sugar in the brine and keeps its shape. Haloumi is often flavored with dried mint, which goes perfectly with pears and dates. It’s also beautiful paired with grilled peaches and red peppers during the summer months. To add drama, sugar, and a slight anise flavor, carefully flambé the dish with ouzo at the table.

You can make the dates ahead of time and brown the pear in a separate pan, at the same time you’re browning the haloumi, to speed up the process a bit.

Yield: Serves 4


  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom (just the only black seeds from within the green pod)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 dates, cut in half and pits removed
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ pound haloumi cheese cut into 8 slices
  • 1 pear, quartered, seeded and sliced into 8 pieces
  • 3 tablespoons ouzo


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. In a small sauté pan, big enough to hold the dates, mix the lemon juice, lemon zest, and brown sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the brown sugar melts. Add the spices and dates and cook until the dates soften a little, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and set the mixture aside,

3. Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Arrange the cheese slice in the skillet, being careful not to overlap or crowd them. Brown the cheese, about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown on each side. Transfer to a heavy gratin or baking dish, placing the haloumi slices side by side.

4. Using the same sauté pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium-high heat and then add the pears. Brown the pears for 4 to 5 minutes on one side. Remove the pears from the pan and add them to the baking pan with the haloumi. Spoon a date onto each piece of haloumi and place the pan in the oven until it gets hot and the cheese gets a little softer. 6 to 8 minutes.

5. Remove the pan from the oven, place it on the table, and without waiting, add the ouzo to the pan and carefully ignite it. Stand back when you light the dish, as the flames can reach 5 inches. The fire will bum off the alcohol, and after about a minute, it will leave the sweet flavor of the ouzo.

© 2006 Ana Sortun

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

581kcal (29%)
612mg (61%)
23mg (38%)
52mcg RAE (2%)
89mg (30%)
528mg (22%)
17g (85%)
32g (50%)
1mg (8%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
  • Kris

    04.04.13 Flag comment

    Can't wait to try this one, but it's pretty high in carbs. Will wait until I'm through with the de-tox.


Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

food-to-live-by Food to Live By
by Myra Goodman
new-american-table New American Table
by Marcus Samuelsson, Marcus Samuelsson
nancy-silvertons-sandwich-book Nancy Silverton's Sandwich ...
by Nancy Silverton
rice Rice
by Bonnie Tandy Leblang, Joanne Lamb Hayes
sunday-suppers-at-lucques Sunday Suppers at Lucques
by Suzanne Goin
good-to-the-grain Good to the Grain
by Kim Boyce
nigella-express Nigella Express
by Nigella Lawson
lidias-italy Lidia's Italy
by Lidia Bastianich
parents-need-to-eat-too Parents Need to Eat Too
by Debbie Koenig
mom-a-licious Mom-a-Licious
by Domenica Catelli
the-sushi-experience The Sushi Experience
by Hiroko Shimbo
usa-cookbook U.S.A. Cookbook
by Sheila Lukins
gluten-free-and-vegan-holidays Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays
by Jennifer Katzinger
the-sweet-life The Sweet Life
by Kate Zuckerman
125-best-vegan-recipes 125 Best Vegan Recipes
by Maxine Effenson Chuck, Beth Gurney
hot-sour-salty-sweet Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet
by Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid

Thanks for signing up!

You'll receive an activation email in your inbox shortly. Don't forget to click that link and activate your new Cookstr.com account!

Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up for Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?