Labor Day appetizer idea

We served a killer little summer appetizer at Dupont Circle’s FreshFarm Market last month: Watermelon and halloumi cheese. Now, we were feeling kind of bad, because none of the farmers at the market make halloumi cheese. But many of them grow watermelons, and we’d like to think we contributed to sales of those juicy monsters that day.

The little pincho was easy-peasy simple. You’ll need fresh watermelon and toothpicks. You’ll also need halloumi cheese, which in this area can be purchased at (selected) Whole Foods, Wegmans and Harris Teeter. You may also find it in some big-box stores, and you’ll certainly find it at one of the region’s great Middle Eastern groceries, like Lebanese Taverna or Mediterranean Bakery. Halloumi comes in a block.

Fire up your grill and let it get good and hot. You want to get grill marks fast, so make sure the grill itself is getting hot and not just the coals. Slice the halloumi into half-inch thick slices. Plop the slices on the grill and don’t move them; cook for about 2 minutes, then flip the cheese and grill for another 1 or 2 minutes. Remove the halloumi from the grill and cut into cubes.

While the cheese has been grilling, cut the watermelon into cubes, about 3/4 inch square. Thread a watermelon chunk and a cheese cube onto each toothpick and serve immediately.

Your Labor Day guests will be very impressed.

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