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Grilled halloumi flatbreads topped with preserved lemon-avocado-barberry salsa

Updated: Apr 25, 2021

I was looking for a sandwich type dish for dinner, something that was different, delicious and satisfying. This dish meets all those criteria. Thin flatbread, I used naan, topped with marinated and sauteed halloumi cheese and topped with a delicious salsa, quick pickled onions and harissa yogurt. I always want more of this.

Sabrina Ghayour is one of the newer cookbook authors that I have discovered. She is prolific, and has published a number of wonderful, easy to approach cookbooks. Her flavors start at her Middle Eastern roots and span the globe. Get all her books!

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.


The marinated halloumi:

2 blocks halloumi cheese. Can substitute paneer or tofu if desired.

2-3 tablespoons yogurt, Greek or regular

1 inch fresh turmeric, or 1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 garlic clove

Zest and juice of 1 lime

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

2-3 flatbreads, naan, pita or flatbread of choice

Pickled onions (see recipe)

Salsa (See recipe)

Preserved lemon-avocado-barberry salsa

10-12 strande fresh dill, minced

1 large or 2 small avocados, diced

1/2-1 preserved lemon, diced. Available at any Mediterranean store or on Amazon.

2 tablespoons dried barberries. Available at any Mediterranean store or on Amazon.

1 teaspoon nigella seeds, toasted

A large glug of olive oil

Salt to taste

Pickled Onions

1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper or Urfa pepper. Available at any Mediterranean store or on Amazon.

Salt to taste

Rose harissa yogurt

1 cup Greek yogurt or plain yogurt

2 teaspoons rose harissa or plain harissa

To marinate the cheese: Cut the blocks of halloumi cheese into thin slices. Add the yogurt, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, turmeric and salt to a small blender and puree till very smooth. Pour over the halloumi slices and marinate for at least 1 hour or longer.

To make the salsa: Add all the ingredients together and mix well, mashing the avocados slightly. Taste and adjust for salt and sourness.

To make the pickled onions: Add all ingredients together and mix well. Pickle at room temperature for at least 1 hour, shaking or stirring them occasionally.

To make the yogurt harissa: Mix ingredients together.

To assemble and serve: Heat a frying pan, non-stick preferred, add a dash of olive oil and fry the marinated halloumi cheese, without the liquid till browned, about 4 minutes for the first side and 1 minute for the second side. Add the fried halloumi cheese to the top of the naan bread. I now broil it in the oven for 1-2 minutes to heat the naan bread, though this step is not required. Top with the salsa, and the pickled onions. Add a few dollops of the yogurt on top and serve immediately.

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