Green Harissa and Halloumi Sandwich

Green Harissa and Halloumi Sandwich

“For me a work of fiction exists only insofar as it affords me what I shall bluntly call aesthetic bliss, that is a sense of being somehow, somewhere connected with other states of being where art (curiosity, tenderness, kindness, ecstasy) is the norm.” Vladimir Nabokov

That sums what I seek to do.  Not just when I read fiction, but oh, everything: writing, photographing, and the rest of it. But right now, my brain feels like a bowl of silly putty and I am still getting back into the groove of things. Best not to force it.

I’ll leave you with just this sandwich today. It’s not the prettiest sandwich, but it’s still pretty delicious. The sharp tart-mineral-spicy harissa cuts through the rich, salty halloumi just so nicely. I ate a lot of cheese sandwiches during my last semester, and this one beats them all. Definitely worth making.

Green Harissa and Halloumi Sandwich
For Harissa:
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
½ tablespoon each: fennel and coriander seeds
1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley (see note)
½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
¼ cup coarsely chopped mint
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic
3 jalapenos, coarsely chopped, seeded and de-pithed according to your heat preference
Juice of one lemon (approximately 1 generous tablespoon)
Salt, to taste

To fry halloumi:
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 – 6 ounces halloumi, sliced about ¼ inch thick (can substitute paneer)

To assemble and serve sandwiches:
4 slices of rye bread (or other bread of your choice, or maybe 2 sandwich rolls)
Two handfuls of arugula
Optional: a small bowl of green olives

To make the harissa, toast the cumin, fennel and coriander over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes. Grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle until powdery. Combine all of the ingredients, including the crushed spices, in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth and blended.

For the halloumi, heat pan on medium heat for 1 minute. Add olive oil. Fry the halloumi until the liquid evaporates and it’s golden-brown (about two minutes). Flip over, fry the other side for one minute, or until golden-brown.

Assemble the sandwiches by spreading the harissa on both sides (you will have extra leftover). Spread a single layer of fried halloumi on both sides. Put a handful of arugula on one side, and quickly cover the arugula side with the non-arugula side. Repeat the process for second sandwich. Serve with a bowl of green olives.

Note: green harissa usually has more cilantro, e.g. 1 cup cilantro and 1 cup spinach/parsley/mint. I’m not a fan of cilantro so I used more parsley. Feel free to change the cilantro to parsley ratio if you’re a cilantro fan :)

  1. I will trade my barley salad with this wonderful sandwich. Thank you for sharing that green harissa recipe too.
    Have a fantastic day, Joyti!

  2. Emma,

    I love me a cheese sandwich but oh my this looks epic. Just packed full of flavour!

  3. This is definitely the fanciest cheese sandwich I have ever seen! Hallumi and Harissa would be a match made in heaven!

  4. I am such a sucker for sandwiches and this one looks delicious! I’m on a healthy kick right now and this would be perfect.

    Also, I love ( love! ) that quote! Such a good one. xo

  5. I am on a halloumi kick right now. An your green harrisa sounds perfect. Ah Joyti, you have so many gifts! and I love opening them!

  6. Nandita,

    The sandwich looks very tempting joystick! Loved the simple yet beautiful styling :)

  7. Nandita,

    I am sorry about the typo! That’s disadvantage of the I pad.

  8. wow, the harissa must be real kicking spicy!!!
    surely i’m not feeling guilty to chewing this kind of sandwich…

  9. Yes1 I need to pick up a good novel for a dose of that “aesthetic bliss.” Great quote!
    And your sandwich looks so darned tasty!

  10. mjskit,

    Sounds like you need to take some time for yourself and escape into a novel or two. This sandwich will make a great lunch for us. You know I love that spicy green harissa and it sounds like a GREAT spread for halloumi!

  11. I am jealous of your snadwhich. I have never had halloumi, as I don’t think I can get it in the interior of British Columbia. The next time I go to Vancouver I am going to track some down and make this sandwich immediately, though!

  12. This sandwich sounds absolutely dreamy! I gave a little ‘gasp’ when I saw it. ; )

  13. Joanne,

    Did I mention that I’m a harissa addict and halloumi makes me swoon? Perfect sandwich.

  14. Ohhh this sandwich looks delicious, Joyti!! With kids around me all the time, I end up eating kids’ friendly lunch all the time, but now this is a great sandwich for me!

  15. lena,

    This sounds DELICIOUS!

  16. That harrisa recipe sounds killer. I need to make it soon. You know I am so fond of paneer & green chutney sandwich and this is so similar to that. Bet that this will be on my table soon.
    Take your time :-) And have a great weekend!

  17. Deb,

    Good sandwiches make a magnificent quick meal! All the lushness of grilled halloumi paired when the savory spice of green harissa makes for an irresistible combination!

  18. Deepti,

    This sounds delicious! Love the combinations of ingredients added…

  19. Shu,

    Nothing like a simple sandwich. Though that said, your sandwich is in no way simple- love the combination of flavours going on here! I tend to end up with very classic boring flavours, and am lost for ideas. This is a great one, so simple, and bursting with flavours! Great one. x

  20. Kaylia,

    That looks amazing!! I don’t usually like sandwiches but I’m definitely going to try this one out :)

  21. Kelly,

    What a great sandwich! Green hariss and halloumi sound wonderful together!

  22. Maria,

    I’ve never heard of green harissa and this certainly looks interesting! I will be giving this a try since sandwiches are a bit of a comfort food for me, and maybe adding a few drops of pomegranate molasses onto the fried halloumi before assembling for a bit of sweetness :)

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