This modest offering ranks as one of my favourite meat-free dishes: packed with flavour and made in moments, it is very much one of my go-to snacks.
These halloumi pockets epitomise real fast food and everyone who has tasted it has wanted more. I like to pop the halloumi and the rest of the filling into mini pitta breads – one slice of halloumi per mini pitta- but you can of course use larger pitta breads or flatbreads as stuff more in there.
The hallomi gets fried in a harissa-flavoured oil, which adds a gorgeous level of spice. I usually use the inexpensive dried harissa spices, but you can use harissa paste that comes in jars: the rose harissa is particularly excellent!
As soon as the hot halloumi touches the hummus, it enhances the wonderful garlicky flavour in the hummus, giving pure pleasure in the mouth!
A good quality hummus makes all the difference and these are even better using a homemade hummus: my recipe from smoked hummus is here, although it can be made unsmoked (guidelines are in the recipe).
The pomegranate molasses adds a wonderful sharp-sweetness, and can be bought in many supermarkets: a little goes a long way!
It can be replaced with a good quality balsamic syrup or even just a little balsamic vinegar brushed over the halloumi as it comes out of the pan, although a few fresh pomegranate seeds popped inside the flatbreads works very well.
A Christmas left-overs version
I often make a meat version of this using left-over turkey. I simply fry it lightly in the harissa-flavoured oil, and pop these into flatbreads along with some crispy bacon (there’s always some left after Christmas!) and perhaps some Brie and redcurrant jelly. Perfect!
Harissa halloumi & hummus flatbreads – serves 2 generously
- 1 halloumi, sliced into 8 pieces
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 4 teaspoons harissa spices
- juice of half a lemon
- a few mint leaves, finely chopped
- flatbreads or pitta breads (mini, large: whatever you want!)
- a few lettuce leaves
- hummus (see recipe)
- pomegranate molasses to drizzle over
(1) Mix the flour with the remaining harissa powder and pat the halloumi into the flour, turning it to get a light spiced flour coating
(2) Pour the oil into a large frying pan and 2 teaspoons of the harissa spices. Heat gently until just sizzling.
(3) Add the halloumi and fry for 2 minutes on each side before squeezing over the lemon juice and scattering over the mint.
(4) Serve in flatbreads or mini pitta breads along with a lettuce leaf, a generous dollop of hummus and a drizzling of the pomegranate molasses. I like to drizzle a little of the oil inside, too.