Grilled Manouri Cheese with Caramelized Plums
- TOTAL TIME: 35 MIN
- SERVINGS: 6 first-course servings
Michael Psilakis likes to riff on saganakifried cheese with lemon. He uses manouri, a fresh, milky white cheese made from the whey that's drained off during feta production. Like nearly all Greek cheeses, it's produced from either sheep's or goat's milk.
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 6 medium plums, halved and pitted
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 pound manouri cheese, cut into two 1/2-inch-thick rounds
- 1/2 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
- 6 cups packed arugula
- 2 tablespoons basil, thinly sliced
- In a large skillet, cook the honey over high heat until darkened slightly, about 1 minute. Add the plums cut sides down and cook over moderate heat until they release their juices, about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to moderately high and cook until the plums are browned, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the plums to a plate.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and add the sherry vinegar. Scrape the honey from the bottom of the skillet and stir together with the vinegar until blended; transfer to a small bowl. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season the dressing with salt and black pepper.
- Light a grill. Drizzle the cheese with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Grill over high heat until grill marks form, about 1 minute per side. Transfer the cheese to a plate. Drizzle with olive oil and the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, then sprinkle with the oregano. Cut each cheese round into 3 triangles.
- In a large bowl, toss the arugula with 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Mound the salad on plates. Arrange 2 plum halves and a cheese triangle on each plate. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the plums, sprinkle with the basil and serve.