This little number would make an attractive entrée for a dinner party or brunch date. It’s so easy and quick and yet loaded with flavour. Haloumi is fun to eat (it’s known as the squeaky cheese) and easy to cook as long as you remember to oil the cheese – not the pan– and quickly sear it.
- 50g butter, just melted
- 2 cloves garlic
- Pinch chilli flakes or Cajun spice
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp cracked pepper
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 12 field mushrooms
- 1 block haloumi cheese*
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes, finely diced plus3 tbsp of the sun-dried tomato oil
- ¼ cucumber, finely diced
- ¼ red onion, finely diced
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- ½ tsp capers, finely chopped
- Handful baby basil leaves and microgreens
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Combine the soft butter with the garlic, chilli, salt, pepper and lemon, mixing well. Arrange the mushrooms on a lined tray with their gills facing up. Brush butter all over the mushrooms, letting it soak into the gills. Bake for 10-12 minutes until tender. Meanwhile, slice the haloumi into ½ cm slices and brush with the oil. Heat a nonstick pan and sear the slices 4-5 at a time for 30 seconds each side or until golden. Transfer to a plate.
- For the salsa, combine the tomatoes, cucumber and onion, tossing with flavoured oil, vinegar and capers.
- Serve the mushrooms stacked with the seared haloumi slices, surrounded with the salsa and garnish with the basil and microgreens.
* Haloumi is a mild-flavoured, firm-textured cheese originating from Cyprus. You can get goat’s or cow’s milk varieties. Its high melting point makes it ideal for frying.
Take a look at this mushroom, chicken and leek pie recipe.
About Jo Wilcox
"I have had a love of food my whole life. Lucky for me my mum allowed me to play in the kitchen from the very beginning – from sitting up on the bench watch her peeling peaches for preserving or planning dinner parties from her many Womans Weekly Cookbooks. Starting in my local beach café, I went onto professional cookery training and my big foodie OE working as a professional chef and nanny. At 21 I launched my first restaurant. The following years saw me owning a gourmet cake and dessert shop and then a pasta deli before I discovered the world of food styling. Today I work in food styling making food look beautiful and tasty in packaging and advertising shoots, as well as my most important role yet – Food Editor of New Zealand Woman’s Weekly. I aim to provide great meal solutions that are interesting and approachable, and of course gorgeous foodie photos that make you want to cook them! I love the feedback and the knowledge that people actually cook them and have great results. If I can give someone a love of cooking and enjoying family meal times and gatherings then my job is done!" See www.jowilcox.co.nzmore of this author