This baked whole halloumi with apricots and honey is easy, uses 5 ingredients and takes less than 20 minutes. It hits all the best sweet and salty flavour notes to make the perfect appetiser or light meal. It’s a bit of an all-in-one cheese board!
I am all for grilling slices of salty, addictive halloumi but honestly, baking it whole so it gets all charred and gooey is a bit of a game changer. It’s SUPER easy and makes a really elegant appetiser, party snack, light meal or fun twist on a cheese board.
This one is heavily inspired by a recipe from Georgina Hayden. I’ve used her scoring technique here and I love how it means the halloumi is encouraged to ooze and kind of melt into the jammy apricots in the oven. Plus, it makes it nice and easy to scoop off sections when you’re serving it.
It hits all the best sweet and salty notes (my absolute favourite) and I think you’ll love it as much as I do. Serve with fresh bread to soak up all the lovely juices (my easy focaccia or soft, garlic flatbreads would be wonderful), pile on top of creamy hummus or just enjoy by itself with a glass of wine!
You only need five ingredients for this delicious, easy dish.
- Halloumi. This is the wonderful, Cypriot cheese that I am incredibly obsessed with. It’s great because it doesn’t melt like regular cheese, which means you can grill slices and it’ll hold its shape. You can also, like we’re doing here, bake the whole thing so it softens without turning into a cheese puddle. We’re using a whole block – that’s typically 225g. Try to go for a Cypriot halloumi if possible for the best flavour.
- Apricots. Don’t worry if your apricots aren’t super ripe. Mine aren’t here so I’ve given you the option to pre-bake them to make sure they break down into that lovely jammy consistency. You could also use another stone fruit like plums, nectarines or peaches. Or use tinned fruit.
- Honey. This will balance the flavours of the salty halloumi, tart apricots and spicy harissa. Use maple syrup if you prefer!
- Harissa. This North African chilli paste is SO great to have in your kitchen. You’ll find it with the spices and jarred pastes in your supermarket. There are lots of different brands of harissa and each will be a little different, so just make sure you taste yours before using it (some of them are VERY spicy). If yours is, just cut back the amount (go for ½ a tablespoon). I love using the rose harissa paste from Belazu in the UK, and the Julie le Clerc one is great when I’m in New Zealand.
You’ll also need a little lemon juice (ideally fresh) just to bring the flavours together.
How to make it
Like I mentioned above, I like to give the apricots a little head start in this recipe to make sure they break down in the oven. I find they need a little longer than the halloumi to get nice and soft, especially when they’re not very ripe. If you have ripe apricots, don’t worry about the pre-baking step. Slice your apricots into thick slices, then throw them into a small oven dish with a little olive oil. Give it a mix, then bake for 10 minutes. Cut diagonal slices across your halloumi, making sure you’re not cutting all the way through. This is going to help the halloumi cook quickly and make it easy to scoop off pieces once it’s done.
After 10 minutes, remove the apricots from the oven and nestle the scored halloumi in the middle of the dish. Drizzle the halloumi with more olive oil and rub it in, getting the oil into the cracks. Change your oven setting to grill (broil) and turn it up to its highest setting (that’s 250C for me). Pop the dish in the oven for 10 minutes, until the top of the halloumi is looking super golden and charred and the apricots have broken down and are gooey and soft. If you give the halloumi a little poke it should feel quite soft.
Mix the honey, harissa and lemon juice in a small bowl, then drizzle it all over the halloumi as it comes out of the oven. It’ll get into all the cracks and be utterly delicious. Finish with a little thyme and spring onion and serve!
Got a question?
You can! This works well with any stone fruit – try peaches, nectarines or plums. You could also use tinned fruit – in this case, skip the pre-roasting and just cook the fruit with the halloumi.
You could use any other chilli sauce – sriracha is good, or use sweet chilli sauce or chilli jam (leave out the honey in this case and just go for 2 tablespoons of sweet chilli).
I love this as a delicious appetiser – try piling the halloumi onto crackers, flatbreads or focaccia – it’s like its own cheese board! You can also enjoy it as part of a mezze-style spread along with creamy, super smooth hummus and a chopped salad, or use it in sandwiches or wraps.
Like this recipe? Here are some other appetisers you might enjoy
If you make this recipe let me know in the comments below! I love hearing about how you get on with my creations.Print