Sticky figs with halloumi and honey

This is a slightly modified Waitrose recipe. You will need a frying pan and a griddle pan, or perhaps two frying pans. Read the whole recipe before starting, because you need to have both pans cooking simultaneously.

Serves two as a lunch, or four as a pathetically small starter. Takes ten minutes or so to prepare and a further fifteen minutes to cook.

Serve with a little good quality bread – wholemeal sourdough would be great. You need something to mop up that sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 15g unsalted butter
  • leaves from 10 sprigs of thyme, maybe a little more
  • half teaspoon pul biber. No, I’ve no idea, so I used a quarter teaspoon of paprika and a quarter teaspoon of chilli flakes. You really don’t want more chilli than that, otherwise it swamps the other flavours. If anything, you could use a little less.
  • 8 fresh figs, cut in half
  • 250g halloumi, cut into fairly generous slices (I got 8 slices from 250g)
  • 3 teaspoons clear honey. Don’t skimp on this.
  • 3 teaspoons of sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar.
  • 25g walnuts
  • small pack (~100g) rocket leaves, washed
  • half a lemon
  • a little olive oil for frying

Method:

  • In a dry non-stick pan over a medium-high heat, toast the walnuts. If they are large pieces, you might want to break them up a bit into pieces roughly the size of large peas. You want them to be lightly browned, not burned. Remove from the pan and reserve.
  • Heat the butter over medium-high heat until it begins sizzling. Stir in the pul biber or paprika and chilli flakes and then immediately add the figs, cut side down and sprinkle over the thyme leaves. Cook the figs for 3-4 minutes, then turn over and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until golden.
  • Meanwhile, brush a griddle pan/another frying pan with a little olive oil. Heat the pan over a medium-high heat and then add the halloumi. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden, taking care that it doesn’t catch or burn. A griddle pan will give you the nice stripes on your halloumi.
  • Add the honey and vinegar to the figs and cook for a further minute.
  • Whilst that is happening, put the halloumi on a serving platter. Then add the figs and pour over the sauce. Add some rocket (put the rest on the serving plates), sprinkle over the walnuts and squeeze the juice from the lemon over the finished platter.

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