Hal­loumi burg­ers with lemon and mint

SERVES 6

Food and Travel (UK) - - Contents -

For the burg­ers

200g hal­loumi, drained and coarsely grated

2 spring onions, trimmed, halved length­ways and finely sliced

2 hand­fuls flat-leaf pars­ley, coarsely chopped

2tbsp mint, finely chopped zest 1 lemon, plus a squeeze of juice

200g cour­gette, coarsely grated

1 medium egg, beaten

4tsp ex­tra vir­gin olive oil

To serve

150g cherry toma­toes, halved 1 heaped tsp medium-hot red chilli, finely sliced

6 warm small round pitta breads, slit diced av­o­cado or onion rel­ish

8cm bis­cuit cut­ter

To make the burg­ers, com­bine the hal­loumi, spring onions, herbs and lemon zest in a large bowl, then cover the in­gre­di­ents and chill. This can be done well in ad­vance.

Shortly be­fore serv­ing, sprin­kle the cherry toma­toes with salt and set aside for 15-30 min­utes, then stir in the chilli.

Add the cour­gette to the cheese mix­ture and mix well, then sea­son with a lit­tle lemon juice and add the egg. Us­ing an 8cm plain bis­cuit cut­ter or ring, press 3 heaped tbsp of the mix­ture at a time into the ring to make small burg­ers 2-3cm thick – you should get 6 in all.

Heat 2tsp oil in a large, non­stick fry­ing pan over a medi­um­low heat and fry half the burg­ers at a time for 4-6 min­utes on one side and 3 min­utes on the other un­til golden and crusty, care­fully lift­ing them with a spat­ula now and again to check, as they can darken quickly and are quite del­i­cate. Trans­fer to a plate and keep warm in a low oven while you cook the re­main­der, adding the rest of the oil to the pan.

Slip the burg­ers in­side the pit­tas, add some diced av­o­cado or spread with onion rel­ish, then scat­ter over the toma­toes.

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