Halloumi cheese salad 

  
I only had halloumi cheese one time in my life in a salad and loved it. What I loved the most is the taste of the cheese which is not overpowering and blends in perfectly with any ingredients. I always associated halloumi cheese  with zaatar. I finally decided that it was time to re-create my dream salad. 

  • 1 eggplant cut lengthwise 
  • 4 slices of haloumi cheese 
  • 1 cup of cooked orzo
  • 1/2 cup of grape tomatoes 
  • 1/3 cup of cilantro 
  • salt
  • Pepper
  • Zaatar 
  • Olive oil
  • Juice from one lemon

Preheat the oven to 400. Sprinkle salt, pepper and olive oil on the eggplant slices and bake for about 30 min. In the meantime, dice the halloumi cheese in small cubes. In a large pan, heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil. Lightly fry the cheese on both sides until it turns brown, maybe 2-3 minutes on each sides. When the eggplants are ready, roll them flat. 

Prepare the dressing: mix one tsp of salt, pepper, lemon juice and one tbsp of olive oil. 

To plate the salad: mix together the orzo with the grape tomato. Toss the dressing and mix. Scoop the orzo in the middle of the plate and place the eggplants around. 

Place the cheese on top of the orzo. Sprinkle some zaatar and top with the chopped fresh cilantro. 

Serve immediately. 

Quinoa Arancini

  
I had arancini with rice and different types of stuffing many times. I never made them. This is my first time. I try to adapt the traditional recipe to a more healthier approach and add to it a delicate touch. Usually arancini are fried in oil but I baked mine for about 30 to 35 minutes. You can serve them with tomato salsa, avocado sauce, wasabi.. Whatever you have in the fridge! I topped mine with wasabi because like a true moroccan, I always like to add a touch of spicy to my food. 

  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa 
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of dried basil
  • 1 tbsp of garlic powder 
  • 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan 
  • 1 cup of flavored breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup of mozarella cut into small bites
  • 2 eggs beaten 

In a large bowl, mix the quinoa with the spices, olive oil and Parmesan. With wet hands form a small ball, about 2 inches diameter and insert inside a small piece of mozarella. Cover up the whole to completely close the arancini. Coat it in the eggs then in the breadcrumbs. 

Heat up the oven to 400 and bake for 30-35. Serve hot.