Updated: 2 days ago
I love simple food that you can grab and devour. Try my recipe for super juicy vegetarian Souvlaki with halloumi cheese, balsamic aubergine, sun-dried tomato tapenade and tzatziki sauce. In my method, I soak halloumi cheese for around 30 minutes to make it less salty and to change its texture. It works great with roasted aubergine as every bite gives you meat-like juicy texture satisfaction. If you would like to prepare your own Greek flatbread the recipe you can find here.
What is Souvlaki?
Souvlaki is a Greek fast food, trendy among tourists and locals. Usually, it is served on flatbread with salad, potato chips and sauces like tzatziki or tomato. Most of the time meat is used but vegetarian versions are also available. Very often prepared with Halloumi cheese, my favourite!
What is Halloumi Cheese?
Halloumi Cheese is a type of brined cheese traditionally prepared from goat's and sheep's milk. Since the growth of its popularity cows milk is used more commonly as a cheaper substitute in the industrial manufacturing process. Halloumi has a squeaky texture, salty flavour and high melting point, making it perfect for grilling or frying. Once prepared that way it should be consumed straight away, as once its temperature drops it will become very hard and dry making it less desirable.
The origin of Halloumi comes from the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. In my recipe, you can find a technic to reduce the amount of salt that it contains making it more palatable with the dish.
What is Tapenade?
Tapenade is a food condiment that can be used as a spread or a culinary ingredient in many Mediterranean dishes. It is traditionally prepared by blending or pureeing olives with capers and olive oil. Many other ingredients can be used like sun-dried tomatoes, anchovies, garlic, fresh herbs and lemon juice with zest.
It comes from the southern France region where it is sold on the local markets in many different variations. You can find it in local restaurants served as an appetizer to bread or used as a dip to crudites. It is also very popular with fish dishes.
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This recipe makes: 4 portions
Download the recipe for Halloumi Souvlaki here:
Ingredients for Halloumi Souvlaki:
220g (7.7oz) of Halloumi cheese, diced
1/2 lemon juice
1 medium-size Aubergine, cut into four lengthways and sliced.
1tbsp of balsamic glaze (if not available dissolve 2tsp of brown sugar in 2tbsp of balsamic vinegar)
1tbsp olive oil
1/4tsp of salt
1/4tsp of black pepper
1tsp of dried oregano
120g (4.2oz) of sun-dried tomatoes with olive oil
2tsp of baby capers (they are less salty than the bigger capers)
half a red onion sliced into rings
Ingredients for Tzatziki:
400g of cucumber (1 medium-sized)
6tbsp of Greek yoghurt
10g of fresh dill, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced (you can also use 1tsp of dried garlic powder instead)
drizzle of lemon juice
1/2tsp of black pepper
1/2tsp of salt
1/4tsp of sugar
How to prepare Halloumi Souvlaki:
1. Begin by soaking diced Halloumi in water with 1/2 lemon juice for a duration of 30-60 minutes. (Soaking for a longer period of time makes Halloumi less salty and changes its texture, experiment to find your perfect taste!).
2. Next, prepare Tzatziki. Grate the cucumber into a bowl, then squeeze out the excess juice by using a cloth or sieve, like this one (you can leave the skin on for extra fibre and texture or remove it completely for a smooth version).
3. Mix cucumber with 6 tbsp of Greek yoghurt, 10g of finely chopped dill, and 2 minced garlic cloves. Drizzle with lemon juice and season with 1/2 tsp of black pepper, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of sugar. Rest in the fridge until the serving time.
4. Preheat the oven to 180C (356F). Mix sliced Aubergine with 1tbsp of balsamic glaze, 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1/4 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of black pepper and 1tsp of oregano. Place on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes.
5. Remove Halloumi cheese from the water and place on a separate baking tray, season with olive oil and place in the oven next to the Aubergine for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
6. In the meantime blend 120g of sundried tomato with 2tsp of baby capers and place in a small dish.
7. Heat both sides of the flatbread on a frying pan. Spread one side with sun-dried tomato paste. Add a few pieces of roasted Halloumi and aubergine. Next, add a couple of tablespoons of Tzatziki and garnish with red onion. Enjoy!
Tips for preparing Halloumi Souvlaki:
Soaking Halloumi cheese helps to reduce the salt content and changes texture.
Balsamic glaze is prepared by reduction of balsamic vinegar and sugar and can be prepared at home or purchased in supermarkets.
Aubergine's spongy texture makes it perfect for absorbing liquids and seasoning.
Check out my other recipes:
You can find more of my vegetarian recipes here.
I can especially recommend you my luscious Japanese Potato Curry recipe, it is one of my most popular vegetarian recipes and an absolute hit on the internet!
If you are not vegetarian and looking for a similar delicious dish, also wrapped in bread, check out my Chicken Shawarma.
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