Vegetarian coming to dinner? Try this delicious and filling toasted cumin halloumi with butternut squash.
Would you like a fun food fact? Of course you would!
Try this one: we Brits eat more halloumi than any other European country except Cyprus.
I’m pleased we love halloumi. Not just because I’m a big fan but because its popularity means you can pick it up almost anywhere these days.
And that’s great because the salty, firm, chewy – and yes, squeaky – cheese is a really useful addition to our national larder; particularly handy when catering for vegetarians.
Halloumi’s high melting point means it’s great for frying and grilling, giving non meat-eaters a substantial slice of protein on their plates.
I have a few favourite halloumi recipes but the cumin in this dish lends a really aromatic flavour to what’s essentially a fairly bland cheese. It’s is a great partner for the butternut squash too. I simply serve this for everyone, meat eaters and vegetarians alike, with a fresh mixed salad.
Toasted cumin halloumi with butternut squash
This unusual dish has a North African feel to it, with the touch of heat tempered by the sweetness of the butternut squash and the saltiness of the halloumi.
SERVES 2 • Ready in 15 minutes
300g (½ small) butternut squash, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 tsp tomato purée
1 tsp garlic purée (or 1 clove, crushed)
120g halloumi, cut into chunks
1 spring (green) onion, trimmed and chopped
50g piquante peppers from a jar, drained and chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Freshly ground black pepper
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped (optional)
- Place the cubed butternut squash into a microwaveable dish, cover and microwave for 5 minutes on high.
- Place a frying pan over a medium/high heat and toss in the cumin seeds and chilli flakes. Dry fry for one minute, then reduce the heat to medium and add the oil, tomato purée and garlic. Stir for a few seconds before adding the halloumi and spring onions. Stir-fry for 3 minutes.
- Add the peppers and butternut squash and continue to cook, stirring regularly, until browned on all sides. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice, black pepper and coriander. Serve immediately.
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