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Halloumi Burgers with Harissa Relish

We've been making a conscious effort over the last year to reduce our meat intake and this recipe has become a regular in the weeknight rotation. When you're looking for something indulgent, halloumi is a great substitute for a beef burger, and pairing it with harissa is a winning combination. These halloumi burgers are packed with flavour and colour, and the recipe leaves space for you to play around with different fillings.


INGREDIENTS (SERVES 2)

For the burger:

- 1 pack of Halloumi (full/reduced fat works fine)

- 1 red pepper

- 1/2 courgette

- 2 bread rolls

- Salad leaves

- hummus (optional)


Alternative combinations: I like the red pepper and courgette combination but you can switch out either with yellow/orange peppers, aubergine slices or portobello mushroom and it works just as well, so go with your favourites!


For the relish:

- 1 teaspoon of rose harissa paste

- 1 teaspoon of brown sugar

- 1 tomato (finely diced)

- 1 small onion (I prefer red but any will work)

- Squeeze of lime (optional)


DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan oven). I like to roast the vegetables as it gives you time to get everything else ready when the veg is cooking but you could also grill them.

  2. Slice the top off the red pepper. Remove the core and seeds then cut into four long segments. Cut the courgette in half and slice lengthways into segments of similar thickness to the pepper (2 or three slices each).

  3. Place the pepper and courgette on a tray and spritz with rapeseed oil and salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for approximately 20-25 mins, turning half way through. If you prefer a more charred flavour, you can leave them in for a little longer.

  4. Meanwhile, to make the relish, finely dice a large tomato and a small onion. Fry the onions on a low heat, and add the tomato once the onions are translucent. When the tomato is soft, add a teaspoon of rose harissa paste and a teaspoon of brown sugar and stir in well. You can leave the mixture to fry on a low heat until you're ready to assemble.

  5. Cut the rolls and butter them or spread a layer of hummus as a base and add the salad leaves on top.

  6. When you reach the last five minutes on the oven timer, it's time to put the halloumi on. Heat a grill pan/frying pan on high. Slice the block of halloumi into approximately 6 thick slices, and add to the pan. Turn after a couple of minutes and leave on the heat until softened (this won't take long!).

  7. To assemble, stack the halloumi on top of the salad then add the roasted veg on top. Add a squeeze of lime juice to the harissa relish (optional) before spooning on top of the veg. And you're ready to eat!

I tend to do a few sweet potato wedges with these on the side, which is why roasting the veg in the oven is an easier way to do things. I love to season these with lots of salt and pepper, za'atar, garlic granules and a little lime juice to finish.

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