The UK now eats more halloumi than anywhere else in the world, apart from Cyprus where it's made. We can see why! Everyone loves this 'squeaky cheese' with its delicious salty taste and firm texture. It's particularly good in today's recipe, paired with nutty lentils and sweet balsamic onions. Let's get cooking!
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Cherry Plum Tomatoes
Halve, peel and chop the shallot into ½cm pieces. Halve, peel and thinly slice the red onion into half moons. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Peel and grate the garlic (or use a garlic press). Pick the basil leaves from their stalks and finely chop (discard the stalks). Cut the halloumi into four slices per person. Drain the lentils in a sieve and rinse under cold water.
Heat a drizzle of oil in a small saucepan on medium heat and add the red onion. Cook until really soft, 7 mins. Add the balsamic vinegar, pop a lid on and turn the heat down to low. Cook until nicely caramelised, stirring occasionally, 8-10 mins. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Heat a drizzle of oil in a frying pan on medium heat, add the shallot. Cook until soft, 5 mins. Add the tomatoes, a pinch of salt and black pepper. Cook for 5 mins more. Add the garlic, stir and cook for another minute. Next, add the lentils and season with another pinch of salt and black pepper. Stir and cook for 3 mins. Add the spinach, pop a lid on and remove from the heat. Set aside (the spinach will wilt inside the pan).
While the spinach wilts, put another frying pan on medium heat and add a drizzle of oil. Once the oil is hot, lay in the halloumi slices. Cook until golden, 3 mins on each side, then remove the pan from the heat.
Stir half the basil into the lentil mixture. Don't worry if the spinach hasn't fully wilted - that's fine!
Serve the lentil mixture in bowls with the halloumi slices on top. Spoon over the caramelised red onion and finish with the remaining basil and a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!