I’m all about quick bites lately. I’m a woman on a mission. The mission is to get a job and get my career rolling again. Now, that we’re in a bigger city, I’m more than ready to jumpstart my career and this has been my main focus. I’ve been cooking, but I really haven’t made anything that could warrant a blog post, or even if it could, I have too lazy to get my camera out and start shooting.
Excuses, excuses. Just a few days ago, I realized I was becoming a laptop zombie in the vortex of job postings. Suddenly, the sun began to stream into the room so beautifully and I thought I would be a fool not to take advantage of the sunlight. It was ethereal and glowing. When you’re in the zone on your laptop, you don’t take the time to notice the small things. I’m glad I snapped out of the twilight zone and I instantly went into the kitchen and started to make something. A lunch for myself. Why not, I thought. My husband has been working at all hours of the day, so I’m usually eating cereal for dinner. Who is this person? It’s so not me.
Anyway, I started roasted some figs, caramelizing onions, grilling halloumi – getting back into my element. It was truly fun for me, how can it not be fun when you’re working with such beauties. When I look at figs I’m amazed, the color, shape, the little seeds, they’re all just perfect. Griddled, golden and salty cheese, sweet and savory onions – that’s why I love cooking. Sometimes you just need a refresher.
Sugar-Roasted Figs, Caramelized Onions, and Halloumi Plate
Serves 3-4, a snack or starter
6-8 figs, cut in half
1/4 cup caramelized onions*
halloumi cheese, cut into 1/4″ slices, as much or as little as you want, I used about 1/4 lb
1/4 cup brown sugar
a few sprigs of thyme
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
sea salt and black pepper
flatbread, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Line the figs on the tray and sprinkle with brown sugar, salt, pepper, and thyme. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until they begin to caramelize and become candied.
In the meantime, in a medium-sized sauté pan on medium heat with a tablespoon or so of olive oil, grill the halloumi on each side until both sides are golden, about 1-2 minutes per side. Set aside.
To assemble: you can either serve everything separately or combine everything on one platter. Use your own creativity and arrange the figs, halloumi, caramelized onions, pine nuts, and mint. Serve with bread of your choice.
*To caramelize onions: Slice 2 small onions (I used red). Heat a sauté pan on medium-low heat and add in a good drizzle of olive oil. Add the onions to the pan with a tablespoon or so of brown sugar and gently cook them on for about 25 minutes. Season them with a sprinkling of sea salt.