When you’re making a big spread of dishes for a mezze, it’s good to have some that are simple to make but still full of flavour. This amazing za’atar-crusted halloumi recipe ticks all of the boxes. It’s made by coating slices of halloumi in the spice blend za’atar (made from a mixture of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac and salt), and then baking them until golden. They are delicious! If you fancy garnishing your slices after cooking, dot each piece with a little bit of rose-petal jam for a tasty sweet and salty flavour combo.
250g block of halloumi
olive oil, for brushing
4-5 tbsp za’atar
a little rose-petal jam, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
2. Cut the block of halloumi into 12 slices. This can be tricky, so I cut the block through the middle first, then cut each half into six slices. Brush each slice lightly with olive oil. Scatter the za’atar over a plate and press the slices in it until they’re all covered. Spread the pieces of halloumi out on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Serve with a little rose-petal jam on each slice (again, this is optional, but highly recommended!)
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Recipe from Feasts from the Middle East by Tony Kitous, founder of Comptoir Libanais restaurants and delis, to be published on 8 March by HQ, price £20. Tony grew up in Algeria, with a love of home cooking and the food culture of his homeland. In the book he shares the flavour-packed, affordable dishes he loves the most (many inspired by his mum Zohra and by family memories), ranging from easy morning meals to grand dinners with friends. To order a copy for £16 until 11 March, visit you-bookshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.