This Vegetarian recipe was a household favorite with my student flatmates. They are both enthusiastic vegetarians and I believe, were impressed by my efforts to quell my natural carnivore ways in producing this delicious vegetarian-friendly dish, packed full of healthy goodness and (probably far too much) olive oil... although the Mediterranean diet leads to longevity I hear.
However, I guiltily admit that the inspiration for this dish, stems from a time when I greedily demolished a juicy flat-iron Argentinian steak, soaked in a wonderful sauce, this was the first time I was introduced to Chimichurri. To those of us who are familiar with this sauce, we mentally associate it with grilled-meat dishes however Argentinians use it like a traditional condiment , positioned proudly on every dining room table. A less sophisticated, English equivalent would be tomato sauce, as Chimichurri can be delightfully dribbled on any morsel, whether it be as an accompaniment to fluffy scrambled eggs or on crispy roast potatoes. Another reason I adore this recipe is because it is so flexible, the first time I made it I included fat and juicy English asparagus which had just come into season however, any green vegetables such as broccoli are an excellent substitute as well as any other veggies you have lying around in the bottom of your fridge, begging for attention. That being said, I am very fond of the sliced courgettes and chunky roasted spring onions in this recipe, I wouldn't swap them out unless I really had to. Ever since I introduced my dear grandparents to HalLoumi cheese, they have become totally obsessed. Halloumi is a fantastic, filling meat-substitute in many dishes, despite this my Grandma tells me she sometimes serves it with bacon! For those of you are staunch followers of tradition and dislike fusion food I do apologize, but I personally have no qualms about mixing Argentinian cuisine with levant to create something exciting, fun and pleasurable to eat!
Ingredients (SERVES 4)
1 bunch/ 100g of chunky spring onions
500g of courgettes, sliced longways (they shrink a lot)
3 small bell-peppers either chopped in half or left with stalk
1 pack of chestnut mushrooms, chopped in half
200g of tender stem broccoli
600g of baby potatoes
2 tsp of paprika
2 packs of halloumi cheese, sliced
2 tbsp of mayonaise
salt and pepper
1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp of chili flakes
3 garlic cloves
250 ml of olive oil
3-4 large baking trays
Firstly part-boil your baby potatoes for no longer than 3 minutes, then set them aside.
Steam the brocolli for 1-2 minutes to rid it of some of its crunchiness, then set aside and ready your baking trays.
Set your oven to 170 degrees c.
Begin by preparing the Chimichurri by chopping the parsley (as finely as possible), crushing the garlic and mixing them with 150 ml of the olive oil. Next, add the chili flakes and a generous amount of salt and pepper and stir thoroughly.
Line all your vegetables on the baking trays, then dribble the chimichurri marinade over all the veg (not the potatoes) , however save a small amount of the Chimichurri for later. Rub the marinade on the vegetables and move them around with your hands making sure they are properly coated.
For the potatoes, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika and lots of salt.
Place all the trays in the oven and roast for 20 mins, checking every so often to check the vegetables are not over-cooking and particulalry, that the peppers are not burning (they will blacken slightly which is fine).
With five minutes to go until the vegetables are ready, gently fry the sliced Halloumi with a slosh of olive oil until brown. At first the haloumi will become soggy as it releases the water content of the cheese and then quite quickly it will start to brown, at this point flip the slices until done on both sides, make sure to keep an eye on them.
Mix the remainder of the chimichurri marinade with the mayonaise and plenty of salt and pepper, this is a delicious dip for your potatoes.
Serve all the vegetables, potatoes and halloumi on hot plates ready to eat and Enjoy!
The Foody Girl