Last night it was the extreme-roasted tomatoes‘ time to shine.
They became the best supporting actors to my dinner’s leading lady and man, halloumi and hummus. AKA the Julianne Moore and Hugh Jackman of the food world.
So… I did a halloumi, mushroom and hummous stack — with potato and soda farls (more interesting and less yeasty than bread ), topped with DE-GILLED Portobello mushroom, red pepper hummus, halloumi, rocket, self-made basil oil, and those extreme-roasted tomatoes.
What I did…
First I made some basil oil
1) To do this, I grabbed huge clumps of Basil the plant‘s leaves, rendering him almost bald.
2) Then I stuck them in the misbehaving Magimix with a glug of extra virgin, 3/4 clove of chopped garlic, and sea salt and pepper.
3) Whizzed until an oil, adding a bit more oil as I went along to ensure it was oily enough.
4) Put finished basil oil to one side. Looks a bit messy actually.
5) I de-gilled my mushrooms, leaving J’s with their gills in ‘cos that’s the way he wanted them. The gills are those flappy brown bits in the cup of the mushroom and apparently the thing responsible for colouring the other food on your plate black. I like to think I go above and beyond now I am learning to cook. You de-gill by gently scraping with a tablespoon – or a tbsp as its known in cookery circles.
6) Next, I dribbled some olive oil and salt and pepper onto the mushrooms and shoved them under the grill (for ten mins).
7) I sliced halloumi into slim-not-skinny slices then brushed with smidgeon of oil. Then I quartered a lemon, brushed with oil too and shoved them all under the grill with the mushrooms.
8) My mushrooms cooked waaay before the halloumi, which went golden brown after about 6 minutes on each side rather than 3 minutes on each side like last time I cooked these cheesy gems. Be wary of this, fellow cooking virgins. Anyway, no bother. I just whipped the mushrooms out and allowed the temperamental halloumi cook in its own time.
9) Then the soda farl and potato farls went in the toaster.
10) Toast popped, I spread the ‘bread’ with a thick layer of red pepper hummus (from the shop).
11) Then I added two slices of halloumi to each, then the mushroom, then the rocket, then the extreme-roasted tomatoes.
12) I attempted to drizzle the basil oil artfully across the lot.
13) Then I squeezed on some roasted lemon and sprinkled with a bit more pepper.
I was quite impressed with the look and taste of this simple meal once it was done. The sweet hummus and toms provided the perfect balance for the salty, squeaky halloumi; the lemon gave it a bit of va-va-voom and the basil oil made the bread soggy in a good way. Will be doing this again.
Weeknight Halloumi and Hummus Extravaganza stats:
Kitchen cock-ups: Could have judged the mushroom vs. halloumi timing better.
What I listened to: the Olympics on the telly in the background.
What I wish I’d had to go with my food: a cold glass of white wine.
What I had: a half-drunk pint of water left over from the night before.