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Cypriot Fried Cheese

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April 30, 2002
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Cyprus is famous for its signature cheese, haloumi, a medium-soft, mild cheese with a touch of mint added. As in Greece, cheese is often served fried as a mezede, or appetizer, and haloumi is a perfect candidate as it retains its shape when heated. This is a simple, but tasty and impressive, hot-weather appetizer.

1 package haloumi cheese**
1 garden-fresh tomato, sliced
1 cup flour
4 tablespoons-plus good-quality olive oil
1 lemon
1 bunch fresh mint

Slice cheese lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. Place flour on plate and dredge pieces of cheese to cover them lightly with flour. Heat olive oil in skillet and fry cheese until lightly browned on both sides. To serve, top each piece with a tomato slice, pour a few drops of oil over, then squeeze the juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon over all. Garnish with fresh mint and serve immediately.

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**Available at specialty stores. Substitute firm mozzarella.

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