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Marinated halloumi in vine leaves

Marinated halloumi wrapped in vine leaves and baked until soft and tender. Serve with baked freekeh with barberries and tomato salad for vegetarian Middle Eastern feast!
Servings: 4


freekeh with barberries

  • 200 g freekeh
  • 25 g butter cut into small cubes
  • 2 handfuls dried barberries
  • 2 handfuls fresh parsley chopped

marinated halloumi in vine leaves

  • 1 pack halloumi
  • 10 vine leaves
  • 1 teaspoon habanero oil
  • small handful fresh herbs chopped
  • 1 lemon zest only
  • 1 clove garlic crushed

avocado tomato salad

  • 1 lemon juice only
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 200 g cherry tomatoes quartered
  • 2 avocados

to serve

  • 200 g Greek yoghurt or labne
  • ½ head romaine lettuce leaves separated


for the freekeh

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Add the freekeh to a baking dish with plenty of room for expansion. Scatter over 1 teaspoon flaky salt. Add 500g boiling water to the freekeh, drizzle over a little oil and stir to combine evenly. Wrap well in foil.
  • Bake for 1 hour, uncover and check the freekeh is tender. If there is any excess water (it depends on the freekeh), remove the foil and return to the oven to dry out. When the freekeh is ready, remove and fluff with a fork. Dot over the butter, and stir through with the barberries and parsley. Cover with a clean tea towel and rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

for the halloumi

  • Soak the vine leaves for 10 minutes in cold water to remove some of the saltiness. Split the halloumi in half along its natural break so you have two flat rectangles. Spread out 3 vine leaves, (overlapping in places to make a larger layer), lay 1 rectangle of halloumi on the leaves and spread over half the seasonings and a few screws of pepper. Lay over 2 more vine leaves, wrap the package as best you can and lay on a baking tray. Repeat with the other piece of halloumi and the remaining vine leaves and seasonings. Bake in the 180°C oven with the freekeh for the last 30 minutes.

for the salad

  • Juice the lemon, add the garlic to the juice and set aside for 20 minutes – this effectively cooks the garlic. Add the cut tomatoes to a colander, stir through ½ teaspoon flaky salt and leave to drain for 20 minutes. Cut the avocado into small chunks and mix with the tomatoes, lemon, garlic, ½ teaspoon flaky salt and lots of pepper.

to serve

  • Pile nutty grains, tender cheese and juicy salad on romaine leaves and drizzle over yoghurt.