Double Potato and Halloumi Bake

Nigella Lawson bakes potatoes and peppers with caramelised garlicky onions, and tops the lot with flavoursome halloumi cheese
By Nigella Lawson
Double Potato and Halloumi Bake
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2-3
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

Main

  • 1 large sweet potatoes, the orange-fleshed American variety
  • 1 large Desirée potatoes, or other red/firm potato
  • 1 red onions
  • 1 yellow peppers
  • 1 red peppers
  • 0.5 heads garlic
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pinches pepper
  • 125 g halloumi cheese, sliced as thinly as you can

Tips and Suggestions

I first made this for a piece I was writing for Vogue on the mood-enhancing properties of carbohydrates, as promoted by such books as - and how's this for a title? - Potatoes not Prozac. The fact that shortly after filing the article I went on a low-carbohydrate diet should not worry us too much here, for I should say that no one has eaten this without being mad for it. It's a simple idea, and as simple to execute. What's more, there's a balance between the components: bland and sweet potatoes, almost caramelised onion and garlic, more juicy sweetness with the peppers and then the uncompromising plain saltiness of the halloumi (which you should be able to get easily in a supermarket) - that seems to add the eater's equilibrium in turn. You could substitute feta, or do without the cheese altogether if you wanted to serve this as a side dish to roast chicken, say, but in which case be generous with the Maldon salt once the bake comes out of the oven.

And forgetting about psuedo-scientific and other optimistic theories for a while; this is so upliftingly beautiful to look at: real good-mood colours.

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.


2. Cut the sweet potato into rough 4cm cubes and the Desiree slightly smaller (2.5cm) as the sweet potato will cook more quickly.


3. Halve the red onion then cut the half into 4-6 segments, discarding any tough outer skin.


4. De-seed the peppers and cut into 2.5 cm squares, and separate the cloves of garlic.


5. Put everything into a large roasting tin or whatever you want to use (it should be big, otherwise use two dishes) and, using your hands, give the vegetables a good coating of olive oil. Season with black pepper, but no salt as the cheese will make it salty (and anyway, the salt will make water leech out).


6. Cook for 45 minutes, by which time the vegetables should be cooked through and here and there tinged with brown.


7. You'll need to turn the oven up to maximum, or light the grill for the endgame: so place the thinly sliced cheese on top of the bake, and put it back in the very hot oven or under the grill until the cheese has melted and turned slightly brown on top, about 5-10 minutes. Serve straight out of the roasting tin.


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