It’s that time of year. Time to put a few summer blankets on stand-by and start eating outside. While that may involve perching on a stool in the back garden, it’s worth it for sunny al fresco dining and all the feels of being away on holidays. Eating your favourite summer snacks with a cold drink al fresco is honestly the next best thing to sitting on a beach in a far-flung place. Honestly!
Salad season is my favourite season. Adding them to your weekly meal plan is the easiest way to bring a touch of sunshine to your day. Expect lots of sharing of summer salad recipes here. In the meantime, I made TACOS!!
If I had ever visited either Mexico or Southern California, this would be where I would write about how I fell in love with tacos and ate them the entire trip. Until that trip happens, I’ve been having a stab at making tacos at home. No surprise that halloumi and black beans are the key ingredients in these ones. I’m helpless when faced with a block of salty halloumi and a tin of black beans. Usually I make this Halloumi, Avocado and Black Bean Salad, but for the foreseeable I will be making these Tacos, complete with a Pico de Gallo style dip.
Some notes on the recipe. Use either soft flour tortillas or corn tortillas. Try to get your hands on the small or medium sized ones. Using large ones, distorts the oh-so-important tortilla to filling ratio and makes for an under-whelming taco. I’ve included a recipe for a Pico de Gallo style dip to top these tacos with. If you like, make extra for dipping nachos in. I use the jarred Jalapeno peppers as I always have a stash in the fridge and they work well.
That’s enough of my ramblings, scroll on for the recipe for these Halloumi and Black Bean Tacos. BTW… this is a full-on Friday evening / weekend recipe. Margarita or cold beer optional. Personally, I like a cold kombucha with lots of ice and a lime wedge. Yay to summer dinners.
Halloumi & Black Bean Tacos
(makes 4-6 tacos)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 400g tin black beans
½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
Pinch sea salt
For the Pico de Gallo
125g plum tomatoes
1/3 small white onion
1 garlic clove
4-5 slices jalapeno peppers from a jar
2-3 sprigs coriander leaves
Juice of half a lime
Pinch sea salt
4-6 small soft corn or flour tortillas
1 ripe avocado
Plain natural yogurt
To make the Pico de Gallo, you can either chop all the ingredients very finely, mix together in a bowl and add the lime juice at the end. Or if you prefer, add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse into a salsa like consistency. I prefer the food processor way.
Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas 6. Drain, rinse and dry the black beans. Place them in a bowl and add a tablespoon of olive oil and season with sea salt. Toss to ensure the beans are coated with the oil. Tip onto a baking sheet and spread them evenly over the sheet so they are not over-crowded. Roast in the oven for twenty minutes.
Meanwhile, add the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil to a bowl along with the sweet smoked paprika. Stir well. Cut the halloumi into slices about 1 cm thick and add them to the bowl. Coat each slice of halloumi with the oil and paprika mix. Heat a frying pan over a medium to hot heat. Cook the slices of halloumi on both sides until they start to brown and crisp. Cut into smaller pieces and set to one side.
To make the tacos, warm the tortillas in an oven or on a dry pan. Mash some avocado over the centre of the warm tortilla, top with the roasted black beans, the fried halloumi and a good dollop of the Pico de Gallo. Add a squeeze of lime juice. Add some extra avocado along with chopped fresh coriander leaves and a dollop of plain natural yogurt. If you would like extra heat, add some extra slices of jalapenos and a sprinkling of chilli flakes.
Alternatively, serve the different components separately and allow your diners to assemble their own tacos. Enjoy.