The South African Cheese Festival took place recently and I never miss this one, not only because I love cheese, but because you get real value for money attending this event.
Included in the ticket price is access to a variety of celebrity chefs’ cooking demonstrations and I always thoroughly enjoy these demos. This year we attended cooking demonstrations by Jenny Morris, Herman Lensing (Food editor at Sarie Magazine), Nataniël, Johnny Hartman and Marius Uys (from Kokkedoor), Nic van Wyk (judge at Kokkedoor) and a couple of others. These demos are normally highly entertaining and interesting!
With more than 400 cheeses available for tasting and buying I bought quite a number of cheeses and other goodies. Everything that you can possibly serve with cheese is available at the festival. Approximately 30 000 people attended this year’s festival; it is one of the festivals most favoured by many. The festival caters also for children so it makes for a perfect outing for the whole family, from babies to grannies!
One of my favourite gourmet food supplier namely Pronto Mama also had a stall and I bought some of their delicious slow roasted tomatoes and marinated mushrooms. Most Melissa outlets as well as the Spar in the Cape Quarter sell these delicious products. I made an awesome oxtail stew with one of their products; the blog post will be done soon.
I bought some Halloumi cheese which is one of my favourite things to serve as a starter. This fried Halloumi cheese with tomato salsa is incredibly easy to prepare. It can be served as a vegetarian main dish or as a starter or as part of a meze platter.
I used pea shoots in the tomato salsa, but fresh basil, coriander, thyme or mint also goes well with the fried Halloumi cheese. I used lime juice in the salsa but it can be substituted by lemon juice. If served as a main dish, serve the Halloumi with toasted pita triangles. The dish serves 2 as a main dish and 4 as a starter.
- 100g cherry tomatoes, sliced
- ½ a red onion, finely sliced
- 10g fresh herbs, chopped
- 2.5ml dried chilli flakes (optional)
- juice of 1 lime (or ½ a lemon)
- salt and pepper
- 250g Halloumi cheese
- 60ml cake flour
- 60ml olive oil
- Mix the sliced cherry tomatoes, red onion, chopped herbs and chilli flakes (optional) together.
- Drizzle with the lime or lemon juice.
- Season lightly with the salt and pepper.
- Let it stand whilst you fry the Halloumi cheese slices.
- Slice the halloumi cheese in 0.5cm slices and dust with cake four.
- Heat the olive oil in a griddle pan on medium heat and fry the Halloumi slices 3 minutes on each side or until they are lightly browned.
- Serve immediately with the tomato salsa.