This dish was inspired by my partner’s request for something ‘vegetabley’ and ‘maybe with halloumi’ so from that vague brief came this lovely dish. It tastes like summer, and you could easily eat without the brown rice if you wanted it for a less filling lunch of side.
Asparagus is in season at the minute, so if you can find British asparagus then do use it! Don’t miss out the Harissa paste either, it really brings this dish to life.
Halloumi, Asparagus and Harissa Brown Rice with Roasted Veg
1 bundle asparagus – around 8-10 spears.
1 pack halloumi cheese
100g cooked brown rice
1 pepper – any colour (I used yellow)
1 medium courgette
1 medium red onion
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 tablespoons flour
A few knobs of butter
2-3 tsp Harissa paste (depending on your spice tolerance)
3 garlic gloves
Preheat your oven to around 150C and pop a large baking tray in to get warm. Slice up your vegetables – the courgette, onion and pepper into large chunks. I like to half the courgette down the middle, and then cut chunky “chips” almost, but cut it anyway you like, as long as they’re all even. Keep your garlic cloves in their skins.
Take your warmed baking tray out of the oven and add a splash of oil and spread out the vegetables and garlic cloves. Roast for around 20-25 minutes or until just softened and the onion is starting to caramelise.
Trim the asparagus and roast in with the vegetables and the knobs of butter for 8-10 minutes at the end of the cooking time, or in a separate dish if you prefer. Remove the halloumi from packet, rinse slightly to remove any excess brine and pat dry. Cut into large chunks, and then roll in the flour, shaking off the excess.
Take a deep frying pan and add the oil, place each floured chunk of halloumi into the pan a few at a time and try to avoid moving them too much, or the flour will fall off and they won’t brown evenly. Turn occasionally until browned all over.
Mix the roasted vegetables and garlic with the rice and add the Harissa paste. Stir until combined and plate up. Add your cheese and asparagus on top and serve!