Fried Jimmy Nardello Peppers with Halloumi Cheese

Golden, gooey cheese nuggets are tossed with peppers and lemon for this flavorful starter.

8 ounces halloumi cheese
2-3 Jimmy Nardello peppers
Juice from half of a lemon
2-4 tablespoons olive oil for frying
Pinch red pepper flakes
Fresh ground pepper

1. Drain the halloumi and cut it into cubes, then pat cubes very dry with paper towels. Slice the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the stem and any seeds. If there are any large, thick ribs, remove them as well, then slice the peppers in half inch slices.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat, adding more as needed to evenly coat the bottom of the skillet. When hot, add the cubes of halloumi and peppers and cook for a few minutes without stirring, until the bottoms of cheese are well-browned, and peppers begin to char.

3. Flip the halloumi and peppers with a pairs of tongs. Once cheese is browned on both sides, remove to a paper-towel lined plate; continue to cook and toss the peppers until they are as soft and blackened as you’d like, about 5 minutes more.

4. Transfer the fried cheese and peppers to a bowl along with any oil in the pan. Grind black pepper over the cheese, add the red pepper flakes and the lemon juice. Stir well, and serve warm or at room temperature.

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