Photo courtesy of Romulo Yanes and Bon Appetit

Welcome to 30 Days on a Mediterranean Diet, our new blog series! It’s no secret that eating the Mediterranean way helps with heart health and weight loss. But fast-paced modern living makes it hard to stick to any diet, which is why each 30 Days on a Mediterranean Diet post will feature a healthy Mediterranean recipe.

Today’s recipe is all about the fresh, clean taste that can only come from herbs. We’re talkin’ mint, basil and perfectly-paired, fragrant ingredients like tomato and watermelon. But the real showstopper here? Halloumi on the grill. I know. Mind blown, right?

Halloumi hails from Cyprus and is a naturally leaner cheese (as lean as one can be on the spectrum of cheeses) than, say, cheddar.* It’s one of those ingredients that’s been lauded for centuries for its versatility and high melt-point, making it a tantalizing treat to cook on your summer grill. This recipe in particular is very light and aromatic so enjoy it as an entrée or change up your appetizer game and serve it at your next shindig!

Grilled Halloumi with Watermelon & Basil-Mint Oil
From Bon Appetit
Makes 4 servings


1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint plus thinly sliced mint for garnish
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for brushing
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 lb. cherry tomatoes on the vine
1 (8-9-oz.) package Halloumi cheese, cut crosswise into 8 slices
6 small triangles thinly sliced watermelon, rind removed

Prep & Cook

  1. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Purée basil, 3 tablespoons mint, and garlic in a blender. With machine running, add 1/2 cup oil.
  2. Set a strainer over a small bowl; strain, pressing on solids. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Brush grill rack with oil. Drizzle 2 tablespoons basil-mint oil over tomatoes and cheese; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Grill tomatoes, turning occasionally, until charred and bursting, about 4 minutes.
  5. Grill cheese until nicely charred in spots and beginning to melt, about 45 seconds per side.
  6. Arrange melon on a platter. Top with cheese and tomatoes. Drizzle remaining herb oil over; garnish with sliced mint.

* Arthurton, Denice. 6 Healthiest Cheeses & Their Health Benefits. Out of Stress.