Food for Soul

Halloumi With Corn, Cherry Tomatoes and Basil

By Melissa Clark

  • YIELD2 to 3 servings
  • TIME25 minutes

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Bryan Gardner for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.

Seared cubes of halloumi get melty and soft on their insides and dark brown and a little crisp on the surface, making it almost impossible not to devour them all as they come out of the pan. But try to resist, because they’re even better tossed with a quick sauté of summer corn and tomatoes, seasoned with basil. Slivers of red onions, folded in raw at the end, add crunch and sweetness, while a squeeze of fresh lime makes everything tangy and fresh. Although this dish is at its most sublime made with fresh summer corn and ripe tomatoes, it’s nearly as good in winter made with frozen corn. Serve it for a light, meatless dinner or a substantial side dish with roasted or grilled chicken or fish.

Featured in: Celebrating Peak Summer


  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
  • 12 to 14 ounces halloumi cheese, diced into 1-inch cubes and patted dry
  • 2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen and thawed (from 2 to 3 ears of corn)
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded or not, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (Diamond Crystal), plus more to taste
  • ¾ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil, more as garnish
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  •  Black pepper


  1. In a large, preferably nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high until it thins out, about 20 seconds. Working in batches, add cheese in one layer, and cook until golden on one side, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip cheese and cook without moving until golden on the other side, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with remaining cheese.
  2. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan and heat it over medium-high. Add corn, tomatoes, jalapeño, cumin seeds and salt, and cook until corn and tomatoes have softened and everything looks juicy, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the browned cheese, sliced onion and basil. Squeeze a lime wedge or two over everything and season with more salt and lots of black pepper. Garnish with more basil and serve immediately.

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