Spelt with roasted courgette and black seed honey halloumi

Spelt isn't traditionally used in Middle Eastern cooking, however I love it's wonderfully nutty texture and a change from couscous or freekeh. Cooked in vegetable stock along with teaspoons of turmeric, cumin, paprika and baharat create golden, nutty grains with an aromatic flavour that complement the sticky, spiced halloumi cheese.

Courgettes, red pepper are marinaded in fresh parsley, olive oil and crushed garlic then roasted and topped with yogurt when serving. From the images, you'll perhaps notice cripsy fried kale, cabbage and roasted beetroot feature, simply because this dish is great for adding any leftover veggies and will only make this warm salad more interesting.


  • 200g pearled spelt

  • 1 cube of vegetable stock

  • 1/2 tsp cumin

  • 1/2 tsp paprika

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 1/2 tsp baharat

Roasted vegetables

  • 3 courgettes, sliced chunkily lengthways

  • 1 red pepper, sliced

  • 2 red onions, quartered

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 30g fresh coriander, roughly chopped

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 4 tsp greek yogurt

Black seed halloumi

  • 50g of runny honey

  • 1/2 tsp nigella seeds

  • pinch of black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp pul biber

  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds

  • dash of olive oil

  • 1 block of haloumi

  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced


  1. Preheat the oven to 200/180c.(fan).

  2. Start by preparing the spelt. Rinse well and place in a large saucepan. Place on a medium-high heat and cover with boiling water, then add the stock cube and the cumin, paprika, turmeric and baharat. Cook for 15-20 minutes until tender (but still deliciously nutty).

  3. Meanwhile place your sliced courgettes, red peppers and red onions in a large bowl and marinade in the crushed garlic, olive oil and fresh coriander. Place on a baking sheet and season well with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes. You may need to remove the courgettes and peppers after just 15, whilst the red onions continue to caramelize. Remove from the oven when ready.

  4. Place the nigella seeds, coriander seeds, pepper and pul biber in a pestle and mortar and crush to a fine powder. Set aside one teaspoon of your homemade spice blend, stir the rest through the honey and set aside.

  5. Heat a dash of olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat, then pan-fry the halloumi for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden and crisp. Drizzle the steaming cheese with sticky, fragrant honey and top with the lemon zest and then juice.

  6. In a small bowl mix through the yogurt with a little olive oil and harissa.

  7. To serve mix the roasted vegetables through the spelt, add a drizzle of olive oil and season well. Spoon onto each plate and top with halloumi and the spiced yogurt. If you have any leftover coriander, use this also to garnish.

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