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Just when you think cheese can’t get any better, you discover halloumi. It brings a whole new and delicious meaning to the phrase ‘grilled cheese’. It is 100% necessary to eat it immediately from the pan so you can truly enjoy its crispy surface and gooey centre. You may loose a layer of skin from the roof of your mouth in the process but it’s a sacrifice worth making, I promise.
While halloumi is a textural, taste bomb sensation, it is not the healthiest. High in sodium and fat, it should be eaten in small doses. Thankfully I’ve got you covered in this Halloumi, Carrot & Orange Couscous recipe, which is full of nutrient packed veggies and flavoursome grains. I assure you you won’t miss that extra bit of halloumi.
The base of this dish is so flavoursome I would definitely recommend making a little extra for your lunchbox the next day. The carrots and chickpeas are roasted with cumin seeds and orange juice which creates the most insane spiced caramelisation. Honestly, the taste is amazing. I use Merchant Gourmet Wholewheat Giant Couscous (please note this link is for pack of six) for this recipe and follow their advice to toast the grains in a little oil before cooking them in water. This ups the flavour profile even more, adding a nutty flavour. It’s incredible the difference it makes. There is a reason this recipe is one of my favourites.
What is halloumi?
Halloumi is a cheese, originally from Cyprus, that is made from both goats milk and sheeps milk. It is a firm, brined, mild flavoured cheese that, due to its high melting point, can be fried or grilled without turning into a gooey mess. While it is quite high in sodium and saturated fat, halloumi also provides protein and a good dose of calcium.
What can I substitute for halloumi?
One cheese that is similar to halloumi and is also easy to buy in UK supermarkets is Paneer, an Indian cheese often added to dishes like curries. It has a high melting point so can be fried like halloumi but it is made from cows milk and produced differently, giving you a slightly different flavour. You could also swap the halloumi for some feta. Crumble it over the dish at the end for a similar salty and creamy flavour.
What on earth is cavelo nero?
Translated from Italian, cavelo nero simply means ‘black cabbage’. It’s a loose leaf cabbage and a member of the brassica family alongside other veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and mustard greens. It is very similar to kale in both taste and appearance and while it is quite easy to get a hold of in most supermarkets, if you can’t find it, kale is a great substitute.
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Not only is this Halloumi, Carrot and Orange Couscous recipe full of nutritious grains and roast vegetables, the flavours are off the chart. Try it tonight!
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 3 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 400g tin chickpeas
- 100g cavolo nero or kale, sliced
- Juice & zest of 1 orange
- 100g giant couscous – I use Merchant Gourmet Wholewheat Giant Couscous
- 250mls water
- 150g halloumi, sliced
- 1 handful coriander, chopped
- Preheat your oven to 180ºC.
- In a roasting dish mix the carrots with the cumin seeds, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out evenly and roast for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, add in the chickpeas and 1/2 the orange juice then pop back into the oven for a further 20 minutes.
- While the carrots and chickpeas are roasting, prepare the couscous. Over a medium heat warm a splash of oil in a saucepan. Toast the couscous in the oil for 2-3 minutes until it begins to turn golden brown in colour. Add the water to the saucepan and bring it to the boil, before reducing the heat to a simmer and half covering with a lid. Cook the couscous for 15-18 minutes, until the water has been absorbed and the couscous has softened.
- Add the cavolo nero or kale to the roasting dish alongside the carrots and chickpeas and roast for a further 5-8 minutes while you fry the halloumi.
- Heat a frying pan on a medium-high heat with a tablespoon of oil. Fry the halloumi for 1-2 minutes on each side until it develops a golden brown crust.
- To serve, mix the cooked couscous in with the roasted carrots, chickpeas and cavelo nero along with the remaining orange juice and the chopped coriander. Pop it all into big dishes with the halloumi on top and enjoy!
- Halloumi, while super tasty, is very high in sodium. Slicing it thinly will make it go a little bit further.
Keywords: Halloumi Recipes, Halloumi Salad, Cous Cous Recipes, Kale, Roast Chickpeas