Halloumi, Avocado & Kalamata Toastie

When I lived in Peru, I always went out to the markets to eat. It was kind of all I did. New place, new market, new food. I loved it! It was cheap, local, authentic, it made your tummy upset and it was delicious. 

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon print print icon squares squares icon

Halloumi, Avocado & Kalamata Toastie


  • Author: Toastie Lab
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This Halloumi Toastie is an homage to my days in Peru and eating it again sends me RIGHT back to that tiny little market, at the top of a hill, with that sweet, old casera, and her delicious sandwiches and juices. 


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 white bread rolls
  • 100 gram Halloumi
  • 100 gram kalamata olives (pit removed) 
  • ½ ripe  avocado
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • Dash of olive oil

Instructions

Instructions to Make a “Classic” Toasted Sandwich:

  1. Cut the halloumi in strips and grill the cheese until done.
  2. Sprinkle some oregano on the halloumi.
  3. In the meantime: cut the avocado in slices.
  4. Cut the olives and/or “roll them out”.
  5. Assemble the sandwich: cheese, avocado, olives.
  6. Drizzle some oil on the grill and carefully place the sandwich on the grill.
  7. Grill until the bread is crispy.

 

Instructions to Make an Open Faced Sandwich:

  1. Cut the avocado in slices. 
  2. Cut the olives and/or “roll them out”.
  3. Assemble the toastie as follows: avocado, olives, cheese. 
  4. Sprinkle some oregano on the halloumi
  5. Drizzle some oil on the grill and carefully place the sandwich on it
  6. Close the grill so that the cheese gets grilled by the top part of the grill. 
  7. When both the cheese and bread are done, remove the sandwich – carefully as you want to make sure it doesn’t fall apart here!

Notes

  • Sauce Tip: None (Yeah, really)
  • Bread Tip: Ciabatta
  • Category: Vegetarian Sandwich
  • Method: Sandwich Grill
  • Cuisine: Toasted Sandwich

Keywords: vegetarian sandwich, grilled cheese, halloumi, avocado, kalamata, Peru

This Halloumi Toastie is an homage to my days in Peru and eating it again sends me RIGHT back to that tiny little market, at the top of a hill, with that sweet, old casera, and her delicious sandwiches and juices. 

Halloumi Cheese 101

Halloumi is a goat and sheep cheese from Cyprus. It has a high melting point which means that it is great for grilling. 

Most halloumi versions these days include cows milk on their ingredient list. It reduces the cost and makes it more accessible for a wider audience. 

However, it also takes away the specialty of the cheese, because now there’s cows milk in it  again! One of the reasons why halloumi is so popular is because it is made of goat and sheep’s milk. This means that the quality of the cheese is generally higher and the flavor is more pronounced. 

Adding cow’s milk to it takes away that benefit, although halloumi is still often a mix of all three types of milk. Added benefit: it’s a lot cheaper than the very-fancy-goat-and-sheep-milk-only-halloumi. 

Now, at the beginning of this recipe I told you that my regular market-visits in Peru made me write out this recipe… So… What is cheese from Cyprus doing here? 

Halloumi is surprisingly similar to Peruvian cheese!

The main resemblance being that they’re both great for grilling. And of course, that both of them have this fabulous, salty,smooth, greasy, soft-yet-crispy taste and texture…

  • Fun fact… I didn’t know about halloumi until recently! I was certain I would never find a cheese similar to the deliciousness that I would eat there, but then a friend introduced me to halloumi and my life changed completely. 

Not really, but definitely a very soon after my discovery: I immediately tried out “remaking” my Peruvian market-sandwich!!! 

I can’t think of a replacement if halloumi is not available where you are, that would taste the same at least. But I’ll tell you that regular cheese works great with olives and avocado as well! 

Ps. you can eat halloumi raw as well, but the true, beautiful magic only really happens when it is fried until it is golden brown and crispy. 

Breadishly Delicious

Not all toasties are made with flavorless, white, square bread. In fact, you can really boost a toastie when you use the right bread! And that all depends on the other ingredients. In this case, we want something to replicate the experience and flavor from my Peruvian sanguchito

At the market, I was always served a tiny bread roll which was hard at the top (oven baked). I never figured out what kind of bread it was, but it reminded me of sourdough bread. Although I’m sure that wasn’t it.

To get the best resemblance, I would recommend a ciabatta bread for this particular toastie, but you actually have a lot of options here.

It was the kind of bread that made me nervous about breaking my retainer thingy at the back surface of my teeth. 

(It never broke, hahah). 

So, depending on your preference and retainer-quality, you’ll have the following options:

  • Ciabatta 
  • Sourdough
  • French baguette
  • White casino bread 
  • A “normal” bread role 

Hope that’s enough options for ya 🙂

Kalamata Olives Are NOT Black Olives (nor Green Olives)

Kalamata olives are those purple, soft, salty olives that of course… Come from the city of Kalamata! (Greece). Their flavor is very distinct from other types of olives, so you don’t want to replace these with black or green olives! 

Again, it looks like this toastie is more of a Southeastern Europe kinda sandwich, but this really is what I ate in Peru! 

OK, sure… They weren’t called kalamata olives and they weren’t from Kalamata either, but the flavor was exactly the same! Except in Peru, you could pick between big ones and huges ones, and here it’s just small ones. 

One of the cool things about those purple olives was that they were so big that you cut cut them alongside the pit and you could just “pop” the seed out and then “unroll” the thing and you’d need only two or three of them to cover your entire sandwich!

It was by far the best thing to eat on bread. 

While it is possible, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a pre-made kalamata olive-tapenade, as it will most likely include other ingredients, like anchovies or capers. While delicious, this recipe asks for simplicity 🙂

Using some Dried Oregano is Delicious, but not Necessary

The oregano is kind of essential in this recipe, as it BOOSTS the flavor a ton! However, a lot of halloumi I‘ve seen here is already seasoned with either mint or basil. Also delicious, just not the same. 

Actually, it’s kind of the same: basil, mint and oregano are all mint-plants. They’re the same family! 

So if you have one of those flavored halloumi-thingies in your supermarket, then forget the oregano. Although you still could add it, if you want to. But it’s not necessary. I guess it depends on how strong the seasoning already is. Long story short: you choose.

Avocado on a Toasted Sandwich

I am a big fan of putting avocado on a toasted sandwich. And this sandwich is like avocado on toast-Peruvian-style. It’s the best. 

Pick a soft, ripe, delicious avocado for this recipe, because you want it to be all smooth so that it can blend in perfectly. You can either cut the avocado in slices, or just grab a spoon and a fork and scoop and mash the green beauty straight onto the bread. 

The avocados in Peru were the most delicious ones I’ve ever eaten, but unfortunately avocado had become a true luxury food there. The international demand for avocados forces local people to sell their stuff to foreign countries, which made the price of avocado in Peru skyrocket! 

I often feel bad buying avocados here in the Netherlands, because it feels like we take away all their healthy, native foods. Luckily, you can find a lot of organic and fair-trade avocados these days, so think of the people and opt for one of those brands! It’s sooo worth it!

Grillin’ Styles

At the market in Peru, my casera would fry the cheese in a pan and assemble the sandwich on the side. Often grilling the bread a bit, too. 

However, I am presenting this recipe as a toasted sandwich, which can either be eaten open-faced or closed. 

Whichever option you choose, I would totally recommend using an actual sandwich grill for this recipe. Grilling the halloumi directly on the grill makes it even more delicious! 

Because of that high melting point, halloumi is perfectly fine to be put on a grill directly, without it melting and disappearing like any other cheese would do. So whether you opt for the open faced sandwich or the closed grilled one, you’re going to LOVE using the grill for it!

For our most up to date recommendation on which grill to use (best price-quality-ratio!) I recommend checking out our equipment page

Toastie Lab

Toastie Lab is the collective effort of Jack and Eveline. We love making, experimenting with, and eating toasted sandwiches.

Recent Content