Melting Halloumi & Roast Walnut Pilaf

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Melting Halloumi & Roast Walnut Pilaf

A one-pot winner of a dinner full of aromatic spices, soft shreds of savoury halloumi cheese, plump raisins, juicy pears and crunchy toasted walnuts.


  • 150g white basmati rice
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley
  • 150g halloumi
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 25g raisins
  • 35g walnuts
  • 1 pear
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 50g rocket
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 500ml boiling water

Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 30 mins

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1. Tip the rice into a large bowl and cover with cold water. Whisk for 1-2 mins till the water goes cloudy. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
2. Peel and dice the onion. Warm a large pan over a low heat for 1 min. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, the onion, the cinnamon stick and the cardamom pods. Season with a pinch of salt. Gently fry for 8-10 mins, till the onion is soft and translucent. Stir every so often.
3. While the onion fries, finely dice the tomato to match the onion. Peel and crush or grate the garlic. Pick the parsley leaves from the stalks. Set the leaves to one side. Chop the stalks. Coarsely grate the halloumi. Finely grate the zest from the lemon. Pour 500ml boiling water over the stock cube and stir well.
4. Add the tomato, garlic, parsley stalks, lemon zest and half the grated halloumi to the pan. Stir in 1 tsp ground ginger, the raisins, drained rice and stock.
5. Bring to the boil. Pop on a lid. Turn down to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 mins. The stock won't be completely absorbed after 10 mins, but once your timer goes off turn the heat off. Don't take off the lid, and let the pan of pilaf stand for 10 mins. This will finish cooking the pilaf.
6. While the pilaf is resting, warm a dry frying pan over a medium heat. Tip in the walnut halves and toast for 2-3 mins. Remove from the pan so that they don’t burn. Set aside.
7. Cut the pear into quarters and slice out the core. Thinly slice the pear. In a mug or small bowl, whisk 1 tbsp olive oil with 1 tbsp red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt. Tumble the pear and rocket into a bowl and toss with the dressing.
8. Fluff up the pilaf using a fork, fishing out the cinnamon stick if you spot it. Cut the lemon into quarters and squeeze two over the pilaf. Stir in the remaining halloumi cheese. Roughly chop the walnuts and parsley leaves and add them too. Serve the pilaf with the remaining lemon wedges and the salad on the side.
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