Haloumi Summer CrownFriday, September 30, 2011
Food painting artwork30 x 30cm oil on linen. Making use of the square brush technique I talked about in my previous post, a summery rendition of this jewel studded dish all plated up and ready to gormandise. The real meal is pretty much as colourful as the painting is.
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The meatless meals recipe
Big thanks to Mari and Catriona in helping me give this recipe an appropriate name!
200-250g haloumi or paneer cheese, in slices about 1/2cm thick (both of these cheeses can be fried without melting out of shape)
around 310g zucchini, in slices about 1/2cm thick (using a long diagonal works well)
around 240g eggplant, in slices about 1/2cm thick
1 clove garlic
around 260g fresh tomato in slices about 1/2cm thick (about 3 medium tomatoes)
plenty of butter for frying
125g / 3/4 cup couscous
zest of 1/2 lemon
chopped parsley, about 25g
1 cup / 250ml boiling water
slosh of olive oil
optional 'clean out the fridge' veg, diced really fine - 1/2 cup
juice of 1/2 lemon
If you are using haloumi for this dish do not salt anything as it is frying. I repeat -DO NOT ADD SALT- Haloumi is very salty itself and any extra salt will make your tongue weep. Paneer, on the other hand, is usually not salty at all, so taste it first and go for your life.
Fry the zucchini slices in butter.
Fry the eggplant slices in butter. Mince the garlic and add to the frying eggplant. Once you have a bit of browning on the eggplant add some water to the pan. This speeds up the cooking time significantly and ensures the cooked eggplant is lovely and soft.
Fry the haloumi slices. It doesn't need much, just enough to be golden brown on the outside and heated through.
Meanwhile, put the couscous, lemon zest, parsley, olive oil, optional minced veg and boiling water in a container with a lid, cover and leave for 10 minutes. Your couscous is now cooked!
To serve, I like to make a ring (the crown!) around the outside of the plate with the zucchini, eggplant, haloumi and fresh tomato slices all alternating. Then I fill the middle with the couscous mix.
A squeeze of lemon juice all over finishes this off.
This makes a meal for two. Unless you are using a BBQ to fry the ingredients it's not really practical from a cooking space point of view to make this for more than two people.