Saturday, January 5, 2013

Grilled halloumi & co.

Good things take time, great things happen all at once.  This dish is a perfect example of that.  It came together by accident -- without previous planning, without previous inspiration, even without a special occasion.  Yet the result is really good and I would definitely serve it during fancy-ish dinner parties.  The ingredients go very well together: they have such different flavors and textures that they complement each other perfectly. 


"So what is exactly in the dish?" you impatiently ask?  Well, let me tell at once: grilled halloumi cheese, roasted butternut squash and sweet red pepper, sprouts (chickpea, soy, lentil, mung bean and other bean) in curry.  Sprinkled with roasted pine nuts and served with a dollop of lime hummus. 

The halloumi is salty and chewy, the grilled veggies -- sweet and soft, the curry sprouts -- spicy.  Lime hummus adds freshness and the toasted pine nuts -- crunch and nuttiness.  A perfect polygamous marriage :-)

Halloumi has always been one of my favorite cheeses -- I used to love it as a kid, and have not grown out of it.  It's great in salads, with grilled vegetables, or simply on a pita bread, with a cucumber-tomato salad and some hummus on the side.  Butternut squash, on the other hand, is a recent addition to my cooking.  I started experimenting with it last Fall, and plan to incorporate it even more in my cooking.  It's great roasted or in soups (for example with lentils, curry and coconut milk).

This dish showcases both perfectly.  Have it with a glass of good red wine and your dinner is complete.  The avid meat-eaters among you won't even notice this is a fully vegetarian dish.  Enjoy!

Serves 2 hungry people


  • 1 package (250 g) of halloumi cheese
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 2 sweet red peppers (mine were long, but sweet)
  • 1 package (around 300 g) of mixed bean sprouts (chickpea, lentils, soy, mung beans - whatever you have)
  • A small hand full of pine nuts
  • Hummus (preferably homemade, but bought is perfectly fine)
  • 1/2 lime
  • Curry powder (mild or hot depending on how spicy you like your food)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC.  Cut the butternut squash and peppers in half, get rid of the seeds using a big spoon.  Cut the vegetables in chunks, put in a bowl with some olive oil, salt and pepper.  Toss until covered with oil.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper, put squash on tray and roast for around 25 minutes until fork-tender.  Add the peppers after 10-15 minutes (the peppers need less time to cook).
  • Cut halloumi in relatively thick slices, and grill on a grill pan until golden (not need to add oil).
  • Heat some olive oil in a pan, add sprouts and 3 tsps of curry powder (I added more, because I like my food quite spicy).  Stir-fry for around 10 minutes.
  • Toast pine nuts in the oven or a dry pan (no oil) until golden brown.  Watch out they don't burn.
  • Squeeze some lime juice into the hummus, mix.
  • Combine all parts of the puzzle into the dish.

Bon appetit!

1 comment:

  1. Even though there is no meat involved, it tastes really delicious! Waiting for more great ideas like that... :)