This maftoul recipe from our friends at Riverford Organics is inspired by Saganaki; a traditional Greek appetiser of fried cheese. Halloumi is coated in polenta and herbs with a drizzle of honey, to give a moreish crispy coating. Not all the sesame and thyme coating will stick to the cheese but, don’t worry, the crispy honeyed bits left in the pan add a satisfying bit of crunch.
Serves 2. Prep time: 10 min. Cooking time: 20 min
- 250g cherry tomatoes
- olive oil for roasting
- 200g maftoul
- 500ml veg stock
- 60g green olives
- 1 garlic clove
- 15g parsley
- 1 egg
- 3 tbsp polenta
- 1 pack halloumi
- 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 50g watercress
- Preheat your oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Put a kettle on to boil.
- Halve the tomatoes and place cut-side up on a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for approx. 20 mins, until slightly charred around the edges.
- Meanwhile, put the maftoul and stock in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 8-10 mins, until tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Keep to one side.
- While the maftoul cooks, slice the olives. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Finely chop the parsley, including the stalks if they’re not too thick.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk the egg with 1 tbsp water. Put the polenta on a plate. Cut the halloumi into 2cm cubes. Dip the halloumi cubes in the egg, then the polenta. Set aside.
- Heat a frying pan. Halve the lemon. Place in the frying pan, cut-side down. Cook for 1-2 mins, without moving them, until charred. Set aside.
- Heat a good drizzle of oil in the same pan. Fry the halloumi for approx. 1-2 mins each side, until golden. Add the honey, thyme and sesame seeds, turning the cubes to coat.
- Once the tomatoes are ready, add the garlic, maftoul, olives, parsley, watercress and the juice from half the lemon to the tray. Mix, adding a drizzle more oil, a turn of pepper and more lemon juice, if you like.
- Drain off any excess stock from the maftoul. Divide the maftoul between 2 plates. Top with the halloumi and any honeyed sesame bits from the pan.