Mediterranean halloumi and egg toast piled with arugula, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and pesto – a delicious and healthy vegetarian brunch!
Today I’m sharing a recipe that’s been stewing in my thoughts since two summers ago! It goes all the way back to my trip to England, where amongst my fond memories of high teas, Michelin Star dinners, and the quaint town of Marlow, are memories of the beginning of my love affair with halloumi cheese.
I remember seeing halloumi cheese on menus everywhere in England (and I happily ordered most of them); yet here in Canada it’s a rarity. A lot of people here don’t even know what halloumi cheese is! Which is a darn shame because, pardon my French, that shit is delicious.
For those of you who have never heard of halloumi cheese, it’s a dense, salty Greek cheese that is best served warm – it actually doesn’t melt, so it keeps its shape when heated too. I like pan frying it to give it a crispy exterior that makes it so delicious you will just want to eat it straight from the pan. If you can hold off a few minutes, it’s also wonderful in salads, sandwiches, and kebabs.
This Mediterranean halloumi and egg toast recipe is actually my adaptation from a meal I had at Fego Caffé while staying in Marlow. It combines all of the best Mediterranean flavours of pesto, tomatoes, avocado, and halloumi, topped off with a runny fried egg. It’s served open faced and eaten with a knife and fork, which is the best way to savour all its amazing flavours. Because if I learned one thing from England, other than my love of halloumi cheese that is, it’s that food – and life – are meant to be savoured!
- 1 tbsp pesto
- 2½ tbsp olive oil, divided
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4-5 medium cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 4 slices whole grain artisan bread
- 1 cup baby arugula
- ½ avocado
- 100 g halloumi cheese
- 2 large eggs
- In a small ramekin combine the pesto with 1.5 tbsp olive oil to thin it out.
- In another ramekin, mix the cherry tomatoes with about 1 tbsp of the pesto/olive oil mixture and set aside.
- Heat up ½ tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and add the sliced mushrooms. Let cook without disturbing them until they are browned on one side, then add salt and pepper and give them a stir. Cook over medium heat, stirring often until they are done. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- In the same pan, fry the sliced halloumi cheese until it is golden on both sides then remove to a plate.
- Heat up the last ½ tbsp olive oil in a pan and fry two eggs to your liking.
- Lay out two slices of toasted bread on each plate and spread each piece with the olive oil and pesto mixture. Top each plate with a handful of arugula, half of the tomatoes, half of the mushrooms, half of the avocado, half of the halloumi, and one fried egg. Season with pepper then serve warm.
What’s your favourite cheese? What was your best food discovery from travelling?