Fried Halloumi with Aubergines & Butter Beans

This delicious Autumnal recipe, from Claire Thomson's New Kitchen Basics book, makes a great vegetarian supper served with pittas or flatbreads to mop up the juice - perfect for a cool dark evening.

The saltiness of the halloumi pairs perfectly with the tomatoes, aubergines and butter beans which is complimented by the sweetness of the honey and paprika.

Serves 4

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to finish and serve
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
400g tin whole plum tomatoes or fresh tomatoes
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp salt, plus extra to season
1 tbsp runny honey
2 large aubergines, finely diced
2x 400g tins butter beans, drained and rinsed
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
Small bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped, plus extra to serve
450g halloumi, cut into 1cm slices
Freshly ground black pepper
Warmed pitta or flatbread, to serve

Method

1. Put 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over a moderate heat. Add the garlic and fry for about 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes, spices, salt and honey and cook for 2 minutes, until starting to thicken.

2. Add the aubergine and 200ml water and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat slightly to bring the liquid to a simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is lovely and thick and the aubergine is soft and cooked through. Add a splash of water if it dries out before the aubergine is cooked. Check the seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper as necessary. 

3. Stir through the butter beans and cook for 2 minutes more for the flavours to mingle. Remove from the heat and add the lemon zest, juice and the parsley. Mix together, then put to one side to keep warm.

4. Put the remaining oil in a nonstick frying pan over a moderate hear. Add the halloumi and cook each side for about 1-2 minutes, until golden and crisp.

5. To serve, add the aubergine and butter beans to a wide serving dish and top with the fried halloumi. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with warm pitta or flatbreads.