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.