Sunday, 15 December 2013

Griddled Halloumi with roasted vegetables

Many of you will be aware that we have been trying to eat less meat. This dish of mine was part of that initiative. I must also say that the concept is entirely my own, and was inspired to a large extent by whatever we had in the fridge at the time!


The "recipe" (if you can call it that) came together a bit at a time. First off I wanted to include some roasted vegetables. We had Butternut Squash, Parsnips and Beetroot, all of which are good for roasting. I was able to prepare them well ahead of serving-time, slicing them into fairly thin pieces that would cook quickly, but also go nicely caramelised at the edges:

Butternut Squash

I lined some baking-trays with silicone paprer so that the veg would be easy to lift off when cooked. I also "massaged" the veg with a light layer of oil, and sprinkled them with salt and pepper.

Parsnips

Another element that I made in advance was a red onion relish. I peeled and sliced some red onions and marinated them in red wine vinegar with a spoonful of Pomegranate molasses. I was a bit unsure about that last ingredient, but I had a good sniff of it and a little taste and decided that it was certainly in keeping with the general idea. Steeping the onions in vinegar like this softens them and makes them less harsh. Nearer serving-time I enhanced the look of the relish by adding some chopped fresh Parsley:

Red onion relish

 The main protein element of my dish was to be some Halloumi cheese. It's delicious cooked in a griddle-pan (as long as you don't overcook it, which makes it too dry).

Halloumi cheese being griddled

Let me say at this point, if you are thinking of using the low fat version of Halloumi for this, forget it. It is incredibly rubbery and the cooking just exacerbates this!

Rummaging in the fridge for stuff to cook I found four slices of Smoked Ham that had been hanging around for quite a while and was at the "Use it or Lose it" stage. Now I know my dish was supposed to be a non-meat one, but I couldn't resist this. I baked the ham until it went crispy and then crumbled it in to "bacon bits". It was exceptionally tasty! All you vegetarians out there can just ignore this last bit...

Smoked Ham, baked

 Prior to finding the ham, I had toasted a handful of Pine-nuts which were going to add the crunch element to my dish, but with the advent of the ham they turned out to be unnecessary (but I used them anyway).

We didn't have any raw beetroot, so I sliced up some ready-cooked, and just slipped it onto the baking-tray with the Butternut Squash about 20 minutes before serving. You wouldn't have been able to tell that it wasn't roasted from raw.

Co-ordinating this lot was a bit of a challenge, and I had to keep going into the kitchen to peer into the oven to make sure the veg was cooking OK and not burning (it took about 40 minutes in the end). Anyway, the time to plate up eventually came. I wished we had some bigger plates! My dish wouldn't score many points for presentation:


So there we have it: griddled Halloumi; roasted Butternut Squash, Parsnips and Beetroot; Red Onion relish; toasted Pine-nuts and crispy Smoked Ham.

In a restaurant, you would get about half this amount of food, and it would be possible to spread it out more and make it look attractive. However, we do not live in a restaurant, and we needed plenty of sustenance. Let me assure you, our plates were cleared!



11 comments:

  1. It was delicious. And it just goes to show that anything is improved with the addition of bacon - even "vegetarian" food!

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  2. Yum..anything with halloumi is a winner for me (without the bacon in my case!).

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  3. It does look delicious - without the bacon for me too. I do love roasted home/allotment grown vegetables.

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  4. I'm working on less meat too, but my husband isn't seeing it that way. So I really like dishes that have other protein sources that I can just increase. Chicken Marsala has mushrooms. So I eat mostly Mushroom Marsala. Chicken with Cashews has an increase in nuts. My husband hates nuts so he picks them out and gives them to me. Though weirdly he loves Chicken with Cashews even though he won't eat the nuts or the veggies in it. But he likes the mix of flavors. And I agree with Jane, but I'd change bacon to ham as I like ham better and it is less fatty. The addition of just an ounce of ham adds a lot of flavor to a dish without a lot of meat.

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  5. This really appeals to me, all those delicious flavours, some of my favourites there.

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  6. Sounds good although I'm not sure about pomegranate molasses!

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  7. This looks delish...but I've only just finished my Sunday Roast so I'll have to give this a try later into the week. ;D

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  8. Look so delicious! Complete ingredients.

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  9. I had haloumi for dinner yesterday too, although mine was served with salad rather than roast veg - appropriately really, given the our differing climates. I did include some grilled pineapple with it though which worked well - its sweetness and acidity complimented the saltiness of the cheese pretty well.

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  10. Love grilled Halloumi and we enjoyed them in the summer for our dessert with some fruits!!The veggies look delicious!

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