It's time for some tough love: If you aren't eating halloumi for breakfast, you're doing breakfast all wrong.
Ok, perhaps the firm, salty cheese doesn't need to be a daily staple in your diet, but if you're looking for a way to breathe new life into your typical breakfast plate, this recipe from Vanessa Perrone's brand-new cookbook Everyday Mediterranean: A Complete Guide to the Mediterranean Diet with 90+ Simple, Nourishing Recipes is here to help.
"This recipe brings me back to the “eggs in a hole” I came to love as a child. But instead of bread, this grown-up version cracks the egg onto a slice of grilled halloumi! This recipe highlights two key Mediterranean ingredients we tend to shy away from at breakfast time: vegetables and spices. Yet fragrant za’atar, wilted spinach, and bursting tomatoes make this dish a flavorful and colorful way to start the day," says Vanessa Perrone in the introduction to this recipe in her new cookbook.
Egg and halloumi breakfast plate
1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil
½ onion, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) halved grape tomatoes
1 cup (250 mL) packed baby spinach
Salt and pepper, to season
2 ½-inch-thick (1.2 cm) slices halloumi
1 tsp (5 mL) za’atar*
2 Tbsp (30 mL) water
Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch (25 cm) non-stick skillet set over medium-low heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and spinach, then season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute or until the spinach has wilted and the tomatoes have slightly softened. Transfer to a plate.
In the same skillet, sear the halloumi on one side until golden brown. Flip the halloumi and crack one egg onto each slice of cheese. Sprinkle the eggs with the za’atar.
As the egg whites begin to harden, add a splash of water to the outer rim of the pan to create steam, then quickly cover with a lid. Cook until the egg whites are firm but the yolks are still runny, about 2 minutes. Serve alongside the vegetables.
*Author's tip: Za’atar is a fragrant blend of oregano, thyme, sumac, and sesame. With its herbaceous notes and slight acidity, this blend goes well with a variety of foods. You can find it in the spice section of your grocery store or make your own at home.)
- Serves 2