Here’s a delicious meat-free souvlaki for when you need one. The secret to cooking halloumi is, ironically, to treat it like a steak: bring it to room temperature before cooking, sear it under a high heat and stop cooking as soon as the outside has a nice crisp edge. Cooking halloumi over a low heat just dries it out, and there’s no pleasure at all to be had in eating that... The vegetables I’ve chosen here are just my preference, so feel free to improvize and use whatever you like or happen to have.
Makes 4 Skewers
4 tablespoons good-quality harissa paste
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
400 g/14 oz. halloumi, cut into bite-sized chunks (about 12–16 pieces)
1 red (bell) pepper, deseeded and cut into chunks
1 red onion, cut into thick strips
16 button mushrooms
6 asparagus spears, cut into thirds
salt, to taste
a handful of chopped mint, to garnish
a generous pinch of dried oregano, to garnish
Accompaniments, to serve (page 40)
4 wooden skewers, pre-soaked in water
Preheat the grill/broiler to really hot.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the harissa and olive oil. Add the halloumi chunks to the bowl and toss them until coated with the harissa glaze.
Thread the halloumi and vegetables onto the prepared skewers, alternating between different ingredients (I skewer the asparagus in groups of three).
Drizzle over a little olive oil, season with a pinch of salt, and cook under the preheated grill/broiler until the halloumi has started to char, then turn once to cook the other side, removing from the heat as soon as the halloumi is golden.
Stack the vegetable skewers together on your board and scatter over the chopped mint and pinch of dried oregano to garnish. Serve with accompaniments of your choice.