Tuesday, 26 May 2015


It can be so hard to find BBQ alternatives for vegetarians when you want to step away from a boring burger or hot dog. This national BBQ week why not try my char grilled blackened halloumi fingers. Marinated in a spicy herby dressing, these bad boys really benefit from that authentic smoky flavor being pumped in from your grill. Grill them on kebab sticks for that true campsite BBQ experience and your going to have everyone fighting to grab one of these tasty treats, not just the vegetarians at your shindig!

To really get that marinade flavor to permeate your halloumi bear in mind it's a dish you will need to prepare early in the day to allow plenty of time for them to sit in fridge and marinate. That's no biggy though - in fact it's so easy to prepare that you can get it all ready in advance and then pop oh the fridge ready to take out and pop on the grill about 10 or 15 minutes before serving.

Make sure you soak your kebab sticks in cold water for around 30 minutes before popping them in the grill. Whilst you want your halloumi to get all nice and charred the same can't be said for your sticks and the soaking will help prevent this.

Of course if you want to make this indoor then you can. We all know the British weather is unpredictable so it does take a turn for the worse you can simply fry off the halloumi in a griddle pan on your stove. You'll lose a bit of that charcoal taste but it will still be scrumptious.

I also appreciate that nigella seeds might not be the easiest thing to get hold of at short notice. They add a delicious crunch to the halloumi but do not panic if you do not have any, the marinade without them is still super delicious. Try using sesame seeds instead if you have any to add that crunch or maybe even roll them in some breadcrumbs (don't hold me to that one; not really sure now much that would work on a BBQ!).

Crack on the Barbie and lets get to it!

Chargrilled Marinated Halloumi

250g Block Of Halloumi
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
2 Tsp Dried Oregano
2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbsp Nigella Seeds
1 Tsp Sea Salt

  1. Take your halloumi block and cut into 6 equal sized fingers. Dab them with kitchen paper to drain any excess moisture and leave to one side.
  2. Pour the olive oil onto a large plate along with the thyme, oregano, paprika, cayenne, nigella seeds and sea salt and give everything a good old mix together. Clean hands are best for this, don't be afraid to get stuck in. 
  3. Take each halloumi finger and roll it around in the marinade until all sides are covered. Use your fingers again and pressthe marinade gently into each side of the fingers and pour any remaining over until it is all used up. 
  4. Cover the halloumi on the marinade plate with film and place them in the fridge for at least one hour to let that marinade do it's work. During this time you should soak your kebab sticks so they are ready to go when you need them.
  5. When the BBQ is ready to go remove the halloumi from the fridge and skewer each finger with the soaked kebab sticks and then place them onto the grill. Grill, turning each finger every minute or so until blackened, roughly around 10 minutes in total.
Remove carefully from the grill and serve immediately to your clearly salivating guests. The char-grilled outsides of the nigella seed coated halloumi will give way to a super hot and soft cheese inside that will be bursting with fresh herb, spicy cayenne and smoky paprika. It will explode in your mouth and everyone will be begging you for more so if you want my advice, you might want to double or even triple up on the recipe above to make sure you have enough to go around.

Now get out there and enjoy National BBQ Week before it starts raining again!

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