Halloumi and Vegetable Roast

An easy introduction to the traditional cheese of Cyprus.

Vegetarian. Hands-on time: 10 mins. Total time: 45 mins.

Contributed by Mike Lewis (February 2008).

Halloumi is a white cheese with a distinctive salty tang that goes well in grilled, fried and barbecued dishes. Native to Cyprus, it's traditionally made with milk from sheep or goats, although halloumi from cows' milk is also available. My local supermarket sells it in 225-gram (8 oz.) vacuum packs. I've often seen it flavored with mint, which is said to increase its anti-bacterial properties.

This halloumi and vegetable roast is an extremely simple way of using this interesting cheese, and one which brings out its full flavor and texture. I often make it mid-week, when I'm too tired to cook anything more elaborate.

All you have to do is take whatever roasting vegetables you have to hand. You can use any combination of onions, mushrooms, zucchini (courgettes), peppers, sweet potato, eggplant (aubergine), tomatoes or any other suitable ingredients.

Prepare the vegetables and cut them into small chunks or slices. Place them in an oiled roasting tin, and sprinkle a little more oil on the top. Place the tin in an oven pre-heated to 325F (170C). Leave to cook for about 35 to 45 minutes, or until the veggies are nice and tender.

About five minutes before the end of the cooking time, place several thick slices of halloumi on top of the vegetables. You'll need three or four slices per serving, depending on how thick they are. Return the dish to the oven, and cook for a few more minutes.

Serve with rice, couscous or bread.

Note on quantities and temperatures:
Quantities are given in American (cups), imperial (oz, fl oz) and metric (g, ml) units. Do not mix the units - use one or other system throughout the recipe.
See also How much does a cup weigh?
oz = ounces, fl oz = fluid ounces, g = grams, ml = milliliters, tsp = teaspoons, tbsp = tablespoons.
Oven temperatures are given in degrees F (Fahrenheit) and C (Celsius).
For fan-assisted ovens, reduce the temperature by 20F or 10C.