…with chopped salad & sesame dressing.
These tasty Cypriot kebabs were whipped up for James Villas by chef Jo Pratt. They’re quick and easy to make, which is great because you’ll find they get wolfed down by the family in minutes. Halloumi cheese is perfect for cooking on the barbecue as it holds well together. If you prefer you could also use prawns or chicken – they’re both delicious with the lemon and oregano marinade.
You will need:
- 500g halloumi cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Small handful fresh oregano leaves
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- Approx. 25 cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¾ cucumber, cut into chunks
- 250g radishes, halved or quartered
- 1 small red onion, fi nely sliced
- Approx. 20 pitted black olives, halved
- Large handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Large handful mint, chopped
- 2 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 2 tbsp Greek or natural yoghurt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- Flatbreads, to serve
Makes 6 skewers
1 Cut the halloumi into chunks/cubes and put in a bowl. Chop the garlic, lemon zest and oregano together on a board then add to the halloumi, along with 2 tbsp olive oil. Stir gently to coat the cheese in the marinade and set aside for a couple of hours, if you have the time.
2 To make the salad, put the tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, red onion, olives, parsley and mint in a mixing or salad bowl. Add a good drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss to combine and set aside.
3 For the dressing, mix together the 2 tbsp olive oil, tahini, yoghurt, lemon juice and 2 tbsp cold water. Season with salt and pepper.
4 To cook the skewers either prepare a barbecue to a medium heat (until the coals are pale grey), heat a griddle on the hob, or pre-heat the grill in the oven to hot. Thread 4-5 cubes of halloumi per kebab onto metal or wooden skewers and spoon over the marinade. Cook for 4-5 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden and charring.
5 While the kebabs are cooking, briefly heat the flatbreads either on the barbecue, over a gas flame or under the grill.
6 Serve the flatbreads on plates with the salad and dressing spooned over, topped with the halloumi kebabs and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
Dine in Cypriot Style
The famed Cypriot good humour definitely extends to mealtimes and they’re usually a crowded affair! In traditional households friends and family often cram round a table covered in little sharing dishes. If you’re dining out, choose this Cypriot meze option and sample a little bit of everything. There’s bound to be a friendly taverna owner ready to talk you through the choices. If you have a sweet tooth (and room), try a Cypriot dessert made with honey, washed down with a traditional coffee, boiled with sugar to make a creamy froth.
If you’re salivating at the thought of Cypriot cuisine, why not try it for yourself? Check out our villas in Cyprus and start dreaming of local delicacies and delights.