If you are unfamiliar with halloumi, it is a cheese that is made in Cyprus. We actually ordered a small recipe pamphlet devoted to halloumi from the Cypriot government a few years ago. Halloumi has a great salty flavor and an unusual layered texture that it retains when cooked. You can fry or grill it without the cheese turning into a liquid mess. It is an amazing, unusual cheese that is one of our favorites.
For this recipe, inspired by Claudia Roden's The New Book of Middle Eastern Food, we used our Thai Long Green Eggplant to add a nice punch of color to the finished dish. You will be surprised by how many onion slices are required, but wipe away your tears and get cooking. You'll be glad you did.
Bulgur with Halloumi and Eggplant
(based on Burghul bi Jibn wal Batinjan by Claudia Roden)
makes 4 large entree portions or 6 generous side portions
1 pound Thai or Asian-style long eggplant, sliced thinly
1 1/2 large onions, sliced
2 cups coarse-ground bulgur,
washed in cold water and drained
3 1/2 cups boiling vegetable stock
7 oz halloumi, cubed
black pepper to taste
Italian parsley, chopped
- Heat 2 Tbs olive oil and fry onions until golden. Add bulgur. Add the hot stock and cover.
- Cook on very low heat until stock is absorbed and bulgur is tender, about 20 minutes.
- While bulgur is cooking, fry eggplant slices in olive oil. Drain on paper towels.
- When bulgur is cooked, add 4 Tbs olive oil, halloumi, and eggplant. Gently combine.
- Re-cover and keep the pot on very low heat until the halloumi is soft. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve hot.