Bruschetta is the ultimate summer nosh — fresh tomatoes, on top of typically toast — is a flavorful delight. So while planning this weekend’s keto 4th of July BBQ, I really wanted to serve bruschetta as an appetizer that everyone – including the keto folk – could enjoy. So, of course, I turned to halloumi as my toast substitute. If you aren’t familiar with halloumi, you are in for a treat! A salty, sturdy, sheeps milk-based cheese, halloumi has a neutral brine-y taste that also seriously stands up to heat and grilling like no other cheese. I have been serving grilled halloumi for years as an appetizer after being inspired by Nigella Lawson’s halloumi with chilies recipe and it’s become even more of a staple in my kitchen since going keto. I also recently discovered Yanni – which is very similar to Halloumi but made from cow’s milk and has significantly less salt.
Fresh tomatoes also pair perfectly with halloumi – the acid and gently texture balances the salty and firmness of halloumi – they are a pair made in keto heaven! Try this keto bruschetta and let me know what you think!
UPDATE: I am officially obsessed with the Yanni grilling cheese. I used it for my family BBQ and it was INCREDIBLE.
Grilled Halloumi Bruschetta
For the Bruschetta
- 4 tbsp high quality olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic sliced
- 4 roma tomatoes diced
- 4 tbsp basil sliced
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp pink salt
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or less, based on taste
For the Grilled Halloumi
- 16 oz Halloumi or Yanni grilling cheese sliced into 1/4" pieces
- 2 cloves garlic halved
- Place a skillet over medium-low.
- Add the olive oil and heat.
- Add the sliced garlic and cook until just browned. Remove from heat all allow to cool completely.
- Toss the tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar, pink salt and crushed red pepper flakes together in a medium bowl.
- Add the cooled garlic oil and toss.
- Let this mixture sit for about 30 minutes.
Grill the Halloumi
- Place the same skillet you used for the garlic oil over medium heat. You don't need to spray it - any remaining oil from the garlic oil will do.
- Once hot, add the slices of halloumi and cook for about 3 - 4 minutes on each side until browned.
- Remove halloumi from skillet and arrange on a plate. Rub one side with halved garlic cloves and discard the garlic.
Assemble Your Bruschetta
- Spoon the tomato mixture on top of the grilled halloumi and garnish with some additional fresh basil, if desired.