Join The National and Table Tales on a culinary journey around the Middle East to savour the quintessential dishes that embody the spirit of Ramadan. From table staples to family favourites, this series of recipes – one for each day of Ramadan – pays homage to the holy month and the home cook alike.
There is no doubt that halloumi is a popular ingredient. In recent years it has become a menu staple the world over, be it as a starter, main or vegetarian addition to a salad. Grilled or deep-fried, the cheese holds its own under heat, becoming soft and gooey when cooked, as opposed to all-out melting.
As Hanan Sayed Worrell of Table Tales explains, while it may be having “a renaissance in the West”, halloumi has long been a “staple in Mediterranean cuisine”.
“Growing up, halloumi was a favourite for a suhoor snack, combined with refreshing watermelon,” she says.
“I have been making this recipe with the lime vinaigrette since the 1990s, inspired by Delia Smith. You can enjoy it as an appetiser or for lunch, with pitta or crusty bread, throughout the year.”
Hanan Sayed Worrell's grilled halloumi with a lime vinaigrette
Serves 6 to 8
- 2 limes, zest and juice
- 2 tbsp white grape vinegar
- 2 tbsp capers
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 500g halloumi
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp flour
- Sprigs of coriander to garnish
- Prepare the vinaigrette dressing by whisking the lime juice, white grape vinegar, capers, garlic, mustard, coriander and two tablespoons of olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Pat the halloumi dry with a paper towel. Cut into three-centimetre-thick slices. Heat the remaining olive oil and the butter in a frying pan on medium heat.
- Dust each slice of halloumi in the flour to coat on both sides. Place the slices in the pan and fry for two minutes on each side until golden.
- Plate the halloumi and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Garnish with fresh coriander sprigs, and serve with pitta.
This dish has been brought to you by international recipe hunter Hanan Sayed Worrell, author of Table Tales: The Global Nomad Cuisine of Abu Dhabi. The Table Tales concept celebrates the people and stories that give flavour to recipes of the Middle East.