Crusty bread, tangy tomato, salty and charred halloumi-style cheese in one blissful bite, what could be better?
- 1 small baguette
- 100 g sun-dried tomato paste (1/2 jar)
- 100 g vegan halloumi (see notes)
- Fresh basil & lemon zest to garnish
Cut the baguette into 8 round slices and line up on a baking tray. Place under the grill for 1-2 minutes until browned and then flip and do the same for the other side. Then set aside onto a serving plate.
Cut the vegan halloumi into 8 pieces, one for each of the toasts. Similarly to the bread, line up on a baking tray and place under the grill for 2-3 minutes each side, watching carefully so it doesn't burn. The grill needs to be fairly hot. You could also do this in a lightly greased frying pan but I prefer this method.
Meanwhile spread a teaspoon of tomato paste to each toast slice. Sun-dried tomato paste works so well here as it adds a real tanginess and depth-of-flavour. If you only have regular tomato purée you may want to add some extra herbs or seasonings, such as mixed Italian herbs or smoked salt to deepen the flavour.
Once both sides of the cheese slices are slightly melted and charred, transfer straight onto the toast slices. Some finely chopped basil and a sprinkle of lemon zest are the perfect garnish to add the finishing touch.
Serve immediately while the cheese is still slightly warm.
I used the Violife Mediterranean-style cheese, which is fairly thick, and as it doesn't soften quite as well as real halloumi I cut one block into quarters and then cut each quarter in half again to give you 8 slices. You get 2 blocks per pack meaning this recipe can easily be doubled to serve more people, which would conveniently use one full pack. Or you can give everyone double portions, which is a good idea as these little appetisers are ridiculously moreish.