Hello! I hope you are all doing well out there. It turns out that for me the post-Easter slump applies even if Easter is spent on a massive online church crawl rather than by singing in person at every church I am even marginally associated, hence the lack of posts. Also, it turns out that a whole bunch of the emotions that I was cheerfully not feeling about this whole pandemic hit me fairly hard in late April, which was probably for the best in the long run, but not very nice in the short term. On the upside, my ability to read and enjoy fiction has returned, so I’ll take that trade off.
Anyway, I seem to have reached something of an equilibrium now, which is good, so hopefully I’ll be able to continue my weekly posting schedule after all.
This recipe is a very simple one that I’ve been making for lunch quite a lot recently. It’s nice, because it gets you a hot lunch that feels a bit indulgent, but only takes a few minutes to prepare and has a bit more nutritional value than the junk food that I am ABSOLUTELY AND UTTERLY CRAVING AT THE MOMENT, YOU HAVE NO IDEA.
It’s adapted from a recipe in Green Kitchen At Home for haloumi burgers, which, very unusually, just didn’t work when I tried to make it in my kitchen. So I added a few more binding ingredients, and turned it into a pita wrap with hummus and cucumber and whatever salad green my farm box was offering in any given week and, voila! Delicious lunch for when I’m working at home. Which is every day. Please don’t talk to me about Zoom meetings.
This makes enough for 2 x 2 lunches. I recommend cooking the patties on the day you are serving them, but be aware that on the second day, the mixture will be a little wetter, and you might need to add a little more flour to make them hold together.
Your Shopping List
- One medium / large carrot
- One medium / large zucchini (but not a gigantic marrow, thank you)
- 200g haloumi
- A handful of fresh mint, basil, parsley or coriander, depending on what flavour profile you are in the mood for today
- 1 egg
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup of flour
- olive oil
- 4-8 pita wraps (depending on size)
- 1-2 cucumbers, sliced
- three handfuls of salad greens
- tomato, if you are so inclined, sliced
Now what will you do with it?
Grate the carrot, zucchini and haloumi coarsely and put them into a bowl. Chop the herbs you have chosen, and stir the whole lot together.
Drop in an egg, and mix well. Add flour until you have a mixture that you can form into balls or patties – they don’t have to be super firm, but you don’t want it all falling apart in your hands.
Divide the mixture into a number of balls that is divisible by four. This is a bit up to you and on the size of pita bread you have. Do you want a large pita with three patties inside? Two little pitas with one each? Medium pita, two patties each?
Heat the oil in the most non-stick frying pan you have – use enough to almost cover the base of the pan, but you aren’t actually shallow frying or anything here. Drop in the balls and flatten slightly – they can be about 1 1/2 cm – 2cm thick. I find I can cook half of the patty mixture in one large frying pan, which is convenient since I am feeding two people lunch.
Cook, pressing down a bit with a spatula for perhaps 3 minutes on each side. Turn them over, and if they are not golden, they will need a little more time.
While you are doing this, spread the pita breads with hummus, and scatter lettuce, cucumber and tomato if using in a broad line down the centre. Maybe leave a bit of space at one end for folding.
When the patties are done, add them to the pitas, and wrap up – fold up a flap at the bottom, then bring in the sides.
Eat with delight!
These are nut free and vegetarian, and could be made gluten-free and low fructose if you used, say, cornflour or rice flour or even almond meal instead of flour. Quantities are likely to differ, though, as rice flour definitely takes up more water than wheat flour. Not sure you could make this egg free – I really did feel that it needed the binding agent.
Flavour-wise, you have MANY options in terms of herbs and spices. Any soft herb will work here, and you might add chilli to basil or mint; or coriander spice or cumin to parsley or coriander herb. Be creative!
I think you could substitute the carrot for sweet potato or parsnip, should you wish. Might be fun with beetroot, too, though very wild-looking!