Fast & Fabulous: Seared Halloumi, Caramelized Peach & Cherry Salad & a Sonoma Coast Chardonnay!

In the blazing heat of Summer, there's something sacrilegious about cranking up a hot oven. No, my friend, Summers are for cooking over an open flame and there's a LOT of delicious fun to be had with a cast iron pan and/or grill. And while I love me some juicy steaks and burgers, one of my favorite things to cook during the Summer is fruit.This recipe for Seared Halloumi, Caramelized Peach and Cherry Salad incorporates some of my favorite flavors of Summer and, in keeping with my "Fast & Fabulous" series, it can easily be prepared in about thirty minutes. As always, I have a delicious wine pairing to enjoy with this salad, a delightful Chardonnay from California's Sonoma Coast.seared-halloumi-caramelized-peach-cherry-salad-cutting-boardHands down, two of my favorite Summer ingredients are peaches and cherries. There's nothing like the fragrant aroma of a perfectly ripe peach, not to mention the delightful, cutting board-staining red cherry juice, the inevitable byproduct of pitting.I'm also just a little infatuated with halloumi cheese, a Greek, semi-soft, brined cheese made from a mixture of goat and sheep's milk. In this salad, the arugula provides a lovely, peppery contrast to the sweetness of the caramelized fruit while the salty tang of the halloumi cheese rounds out the flavors and textures nicely.When it comes to a wine pairing, there's just something about the way Chardonnay pairs with arugula that I adore and the Failla Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is a wonderful wine to illustrate this combination. Unlike many overly oaked Chardonnays, this wine has just a kiss of oak that synergizes beautifully with the spice of the greens, and its fruit harmonizes perfectly with the flavors of the cheese, peaches and cherries.seared-halloumi-caramelized-peach-cherry-salad-failla-chard-labelFailla Winery is one of our favorites and a labor of love for its owners, husband and wife team, Ehren Jordan and Anne-Marie Failla. While there first vintage debuted in 1998 as Failla-Jordan (they had to drop the "Jordan" over a legal dispute), their first estate release was still years away. Jordan's passion for winemaking led him to an internship in France's Rhône Valley and then back to California where he worked with the legendary Helen Turley at Marcassin and then Turley Wine Cellars before starting Failla.Today, the couple's fourteen acres of estate vineyards are largely dedicated to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah that capture the essence of California's coolest wine making regions. This small production winery produces beautifully balanced, food friendly wines that are definitely worth seeking out, however, in the event you're unable to find this particular wine, ask your local wine shop for a food-friendly, California Chardonnay from a cooler region with a nice balance of fruit and oak.I hope you enjoy this recipe for Seared Halloumi, Caramelized Peach and Cherry Salad as much as we do! Please scroll for the recipe and for more installments of my "Fast & Fabulous" series that features thirty minute recipes complete with wine pairings, please click here. Thanks so much for stopping by and Happy Summer!Cheers,SIGNATURE  "Fast & Fabulous: Seared Halloumi, Caramelized Peach & Cherry Salad" Author: Adapted from The Flourishing Foodie Serves: 4 Serve with a Sonoma Coast Chardonnay like the one from Failla featured in this post! Ingredients

  • 5 oz container of arugula
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1 cups red cherries, halved & pitted
  • 2 peaches - not overly ripe or they may fall apart
  • 8 oz. halloumi, sliced 1/4" thick
  1. ) In a medium frying pan, heat the butter on medium-high heat. Once the butter starts to sizzle, add the cherries and peaches. Sauté until soft.
  2. ) While the fruit is cooking, heat a large frying pan on medium. Once hot, add the halloumi slices. Cook on each side until a nice golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side.
  3. ) In a bowl, toss the arugula with olive oil, lemon juice and pepper. Place a handful of dressed arugula on each plate and layer the fruit mixture over the greens and top each with a grilled halloumi slice. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Stephanie Miskew
Stephanie Miskew