The Telegraph

Tangy charred apricots with halloumi, basil and fried pitta

5 August 2022

Telegraph logo.png This recipe has been supplied by The Telegraph and written by Eleanor Steafel, feature writer for the Daily Telegraph. Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Ltd.

Apricots for recipe page.png

I like to make this warm salad (which you could serve as it is or alongside something like lamb chops) in one pan. I am absolutely useless when it comes to barbecuing halloumi. If you are good at it, by all means barbecue both your fruit and cheese. But if like me you end up with quite a lot sticking to the bars or falling through the grill, cook it on the stovetop.

In a hot cast iron pan, you’ll still get a good char. You can cook the pitta and fruit in advance, but wait to fry the cheese until you’re about to eat.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 65g butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 white pitta breads, roughly torn
  • 30g muscovado sugar
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 small green chilli, halved lengthways and finely sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 450g apricots, halved, stones removed
  • 1 block of halloumi, thickly sliced
  • 1 small bunch of basil, roughly torn

Method

  1. Set a large frying pan over a medium heat with the butter and half the oil. When the butter is foaming, add the torn pitta and fry until golden on both sides. Cook in batches if you need to - you want each piece to turn golden and crunchy. Remove from the pan, set aside and sprinkle with a little salt.
  2. Mix the sugar, fish sauce, lime, vinegar, chilli (with or without the seeds, depending on your preference) and garlic in a large bowl with a pinch of salt. Set aside while you cook the apricots.
  3. Wipe out the frying pan you cooked the pitta in (no need to wash it), set it over a medium heat and griddle the apricots cut side down. Leave for a good two to three minutes. You want them to char a little and caramelise. Flip them and cook for another minute on the other side. Then transfer to the bowl of dressing. Baste the apricots in the dressing, then leave while you cook the halloumi (or longer, they’ll happily sit in the liquid).
  4. Add the remaining oil to the pan, keep the heat on medium and fry the cheese for a couple of minutes on either side, or until golden. Remove from the pan and immediately assemble everything.
  5. Arrange half the pitta on a large plate and top with the apricot halves. Lay the cheese slices and more pitta on top, scatter the torn basil and spoon the leftover dressing over everything. Serve while the cheese is still warm.

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