Roasted Beetroot and Halloumi Nibbles with Balsamic Pearls
The combination of sweet beetroot, salty halloumi and tangy balsamic vinegar is great for summer or winter drinks. (Stick a drink in my hand, and I would gobble a plate of these what ever the weather!) These are easy to whip up (from ingredients you probably have in your fridge) so they are perfect for last minute guests. The heart shape does add a bit of effort…..but I’m a sucker for cute shaped nibbly food. Feel free to dispense with this foolishness if you wish…….But make more than you think you need, as the salty cheese makes them very moreish.
To make a batch of these, I used:
- 1 block of halloumi
- 3 medium sized beetroot (roasted and peeled)
- Balsamic pearls. I bought these as they were heavily reduced at Waitrose. An equally nice alternative is red onion chutney or any other not too sweet onion relish.
- Olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
First take your beetroot, and roast with the skins on.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing the skins. You can do this step ahead, and use chilled beetroot (or buy pre cooked).
While the beetroot is roasting, prepare the halloumi. Cut into strips about 5mm thick.
I like to make the nibbles all the same size / shape, so I use a heart shaped cutter. As i said before – if you are not as sad as me, you could cut into squares. (But then you don’t get to nibble on the off cuts while you are cooking!).
Use a griddle pan to get lovely grill lines on the halloumi. To get sharp lines, you cannot turn more than once, so brush each side with a very light sheen of olive oil, and place on a hot pan. Turn once, and repeat on the other side.
Resist the temptation to scoff the halloumi direct from the pan!
Assuming you have some cheese left, move on to the beetroot.
Again slice to about 5mm, and cut into the shape of your choice. Cut slightly smaller than the helium. Make a glaze from balsamic and a touch of olive oil to brush the beetroot with before crisping up in a hot pan. You shouldn’t have to add any further oil. The vinegar creates a slightly caramelisation and really enhances the beetroots natural sweetness.
To make the glaze, add a table spoon each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Whisk to an emulsion, and brush over the beetroot before heating.
These are the balsamic pearls – ( I think you can buy a machine to make your own pearls…but thats excessive even for me). I can’t imagine many people will have these lurking in their fridge…..a savoury onion jam or chutney would be just as nice)
Then simply add the beetroot and halloumi with the balsamic pearl, and place on a platter.