All hail halloumi

Melted cheese is awesome and all, but what about warm cheese that doesn’t quite melt, but instead bears a crunchy outside and a soft, salty, cheesy inside? Halloumi brings just that.

Halloumi is originally from Cyprus and popular in Middle Eastern dishes. It has a very mild taste until grilled, when the real taste and texture get kickin’.

When I’m craving a salty snack, I’ll sometimes cut off a slice from my halloumi chunk and cook it on the stove, til brown and crispy on both sides, and craving satisfied.

Tonight, I wanted the goodness of grilled vegetables, but with a halloumi finish. I used goat-cheese halloumi.

Baked Mediterranean Vegetables w/Halloumi

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Ingredients:

– 1 cup chopped eggplant

– 1 cup chopped zucchini

– 1/2 cup chopped red pepper

– 1 white onion, chopped

– 1/2 cup chopped tomato

– 2 cloves garlic, diced finely

– 2 tsp salt

– 1 tsp pepper

– 1/2 tsp paprika

– 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

– 3 oz halloumi

– 1/4 cup parsley, chopped

– drizzle olive oil

Directions:

The prep is simple. Simply chop the vegetables so the piece are relatively the same size—the size you like ‘em. I like mine in about 1×1 inch pieces.

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Spread out the veggies on aluminum foiled covered with extra-virgin olive oil.

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Spread the vegetables so that each piece has its own place.

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Season with salt, pepper, paprika and chopped garlic.

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Pop in the oven for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

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While the zucchini, eggplant, tomato, onion, red pepper, garlic and spices bake, prepare the halloumi. Traditionally, the cheese should be grilled, but I just simply cooked it over the stove. No oil involved, as the milk fat in the cheese is enough to prevent the burn.

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Oh yeah baby…

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DING A LING!…looks like the veggies could use a good turn…

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And some 10 minutes later, ‘tis all done!

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Chop the parsley.

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Serve the baked vegetables with the parsley garnish and the halloumi atop it all.

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So delicious. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on top of the finished product and it will be radiating Mediterranean goodness.

xoxo Aylin

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