Sunday 31 August 2014

Haloumi Tomato and Balsamic Glaze Brunch

It tastes as good as it looks
This meal was inspired by a delicinom breakfast I had at a local cafe.  It is my go-to brunch order at my local so I was nervous about making it at home, but I decided to take the risk.   There are quite a few other tasty options I can go to instead if I start making this at home more often.  Haloumi, tomato and balsamic are a beautiful combination.  This recipe has inspired me with other ideas of cooking with these flavours, which is always a good sign.  Haloumi is a Greek cheese which maintains its shape and does not melt when you fry it in the fry pan.  Cooked well, it should be just slightly crispy on the outside, and have a squeaky consistency when you eat it.  If you haven't tried haloumi before, then you are in for a pleasant surprise.  If it is your first time, I recommend cooking a little on its own to try on the side of this meal to understand its perfection in isolation of the other flavours.

This meal is simple and guaranteed to impress your friend, family or significant other.  You can purchase balsamic glaze from most supermarkets nowadays, but if not check your local deli.  It comes in a nice squeeze bottle that allows you to be artistic with its presentation.  If you want to make it from scratch, then here is an exceptionally simple recipe. You will feel like the cafe breakfast queen when you make this.  I did!


Serves 2
  • Haloumi, sliced into approx 1 cm deep slices the length and width of your turkish bread
  • 12 perino/grape/cherry tomatoes (perino tomatoes are my favourite)
  • Balsamic reduction/balsamic glaze.
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 2 tbs Basil Pesto
  • 2 serves of Turkish break or normal toast if you don't want to get too carried away

Potential Spins

The recipe in the cafe that I used to visit omitted the basil pesto, so that is totally optional but I think it adds an extra layer of flavour.  They also used sliced slices of tomato which had been fried, rather than perinos/cherry tomatoes, so you could do that if you want. You could make pesto from scratch or just buy a jar.  If you didn't want to make this vegetarian, you could add some prosciutto to the tomatoes.


  1. Preheat oven to approximately 90 degrees Celcius to allow the bread to stay warm while cooking the other ingredients.
  2. Slice approximatley 2 inches of turkish bread per person, then slice it in half width-wise to make two slices per person.  Lightly toast each side over a hot pain with a small drizzle of rice bran or olice oil until toasted on both sides.  Place bread in the oven to stay warm.
    Toasting the first side.
  3. Slice tomatoes in half.  Season, then fry tomatoes in rice bran oil until soft.  I use rice bran oil for cooking due to its higher smoke point than olive oil, and it contains oryzanol and tocotrienol - both good for heart health.  I need to be aware of these given my family history of heart-related health problems.  Olive oil is still my choice for marinating, drizzling over salad or anything else uncooked due to its health benefits when not exposed to high temperatures.
  4. Fry haloumi in a pan until slightly crispy on the outside, then flip.  This should take about approx. 2-3 minutes per side on medium heat.
  5. Top your Turkish bread with basil pesto, then tomato.
  6. Add haloumi then avocado.
  7. Finally, present by drizzling a circle or two of balsamic glaze around the meal, ready to dip in to taste.  I eat this meal with a knife and fork.
    Ideally present this meal on plain plates which do not already have black swirls to enhance the look.
    You could also drizzle the glaze over the top, but I wanted to use it as a dipper only today.

My Take Aways 

Yum.  This was surprisingly easy to make.  It was also very filling.  I will definitely make it again.  The dragon loved it, especially how simple and quick it was.  The Turkish bread we bought gave us way too much, so we have mega cling-wrapped the leftovers to freeze for another time.

After making it I am inspired to make a caprese salad (tomato, basil leaves and bocconcini or mozzarella) drizzled with a very small amount of balsamic glaze alongside a steak marinated in balsamic vinegar, olive oil and garlic, as well as a warm chicken salad using some of these ingredients and a few more thrown in....watch this space...

Nutritional Breakdown

Amount Per Serving
  • Calories323.0
  • Total Fat18.4 g
  • Saturated Fat5.8 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat0.5 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat3.5 g
  • Cholesterol3.0 mg
  • Sodium1,073.5 mg
  • Potassium455.5 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate29.0 g
  • Dietary Fiber3.9 g
  • Sugars3.8 g
  • Protein60.9 g

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