aubergine & breaded halloumi burgers

Soft buns with crunchy lettuce, sautéed sweet onion, battered halloumi, fried aubergine, fresh tomatoes and a garlic aioli sauce. Although it’s an extremely simple no-fuss vegetarian adaption of a classic burger, a battered cheese and garlic aioli really take it to a whole new level.

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Halloumi has an extremely unusual high melting point for a cheese. That means it’s absolutely ideal for deep frying – in this case, coated in a delicious crispy breadcrumb texture. Breaded halloumi on it’s own is a wonderful vegetarian side dish served with aioli, honey, or other sauces, but it also makes an intriguing difference to a patty for the filling of a burger.

To match the garlic aioli I decided to sprinkle my burger with some delicious lemon pepper, but that is entirely to your taste.

Breaded Halloumi, Aubergine, Salad and Garlic Aioli Burger

Gorgeous salty cheese with salad and soft burger buns.

Ingredients

  • 2 Seeded burger buns, or your choice
  • 2 1cm slices of Halloumi cheese
  • ½ Large aubergine
  • 1 Onion
  • Salad leaf of your choice

For the aioli: 

  • ½ Garlic Clove
  • 1 Egg
  • 10 tbsp Olive oil
  • ½ tsp Mustard seeds
  • Dash of Lemon juice

Breaded coating: 

  • 30g Breadcrumbs from stale bread or panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 beaten egg, alternatively a little milk, yoghurt or butter
  • 20g plain flour
  • Sunflower oil for deep frying


Directions

  1. First prepare the halloumi to be coated and battered. Slice it into 1centimetre pieces – I used only one piece of battered halloumi per burger.
  2. Pre-cut the breadcrumbs for the breading. You can use a knife, or blast them in a food processor quickly for a finer finish.
  3. Use a handful of plain flour spread on a plate to roll the halloumi in.
  4. Next, beat an egg and roll the halloumi in it until it’s covered completely. You can also use butter, yoghurt or milk for this stage, rather than egg.
  5. Using the pre-cut breadcrumbs spread on a plate, completely cover the halloumi. You may want to press the breadcrumbs close so they adhere well.
  6. Heat your oil in a deep fat fryer or a large saucepan. As always, be careful around hot oil and take the proper precautions. Carefully use a slotted spoon to add them to the oil and fry lightly for about 30 seconds on both sides, until golden.
  7. When cooked, gently lift from the oil and place onto kitchen paper to drain oil. R0020029
  8. If making burgers, fry accompaniments of your choice. I used aubergine and onions, so I cut my aubergine into rounds and fried gently on medium heat with a little oil, salt and pepper, until soft on both sides. I then cut my onions into thin slices and sautéed until soft and translucent.
  9. To assemble your burger, gently toast your burger buns (or eat them soft), butter them and pile high with salad, halloumi and aubergine. If drizzling with honey or aioli, use a little now over the burger before squashing down the top burger bun.

To make garlic aioli: 

  1. Using a pestle and mortar, crush garlic and mustard seeds into small pieces. Set aside.
  2. Using a fork or hand whisk, beat the egg until pale, and then proceed to add drizzles of oil, bit by bit. The aioli should start to become thick.
  3. When fully thickened, add garlic and mustard seeds, and whisk again to incorporate. Now add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.

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