This is the perfect appetiser in my eyes: sweet, salty, crunchy, fried. Rectangles of halloumi are dusted in semolina or polenta, sautéed until crisp, drizzled with a warm, thyme-infused honey and topped with crunchy pomegranate seeds.
4 as part of a mezze
- 300g halloumi cheese
- 1 medium egg
- 4 tbsp fine semolina or polenta
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 tbsp runny honey
- 1 tsp finely chopped thyme leaves
- couple of handfuls of rocket leaves
- 4–5 fresh figs, quartered (optional)
- 3 tbsp pomegranate seeds
- black pepper
- Cut the halloumi into eight thick slices. Beat the egg in a small bowl and lay the semolina or polenta out on a plate. Dip the halloumi slices in the beaten egg, then roll them in the semolina or polenta so they have a crust around them.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan until it is hot, then fry the halloumi pieces for a few minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Place on some kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil.
- Meanwhile, heat the honey in a small saucepan with the thyme. Now assemble the dish. Place the rocket on a serving plate and arrange the halloumi on top, nestling the figs around, if using. Drizzle a little of the hot honey over each slice of halloumi. Finish with a smattering of pomegranate seeds and grind over some black pepper.
Extract taken from Ripe Figs by Yasmin Khan (£26, Bloomsbury) Food photography © Matt Russell