Roasted Tomato Dip
17½ ounces (496g) grape or cherry tomatoes
10 to 12 garlic cloves, or to taste
2 tablespoons (30ml) extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
16 ounces (454g) halloumi cheese
½ cup (63g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons (1g) smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45ml) sunflower or avocado oil, for frying
Small bunch fresh parsley, chopped, to garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Make the Roasted Tomato Dip: In a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, chili powder, salt and pepper. Toss until coated, then transfer to a baking dish.
3. Place the dish in the preheated oven and roast until the tomatoes are charred on the top, 25 to 30 minutes.
4. Make the Halloumi “Fries”: Meanwhile, cut the halloumi cheese into ½-inch-thick sticks.
5. In a bowl or a shallow dish, mix the flour, paprika, onion powder and oregano until well combined. Add a few pieces of the halloumi cheese at a time and lightly, but evenly, coat them with the flour mixture. Shake to remove any excess flour.
6. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the halloumi “fries” and cook until golden on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes total. (Use a pair of tongs to turn them so they cook on all sides.) To get a crispy exterior, don’t overcrowd the skillet; work in batches of 8 to 10. Transfer the “fries” to a paper-towel-lined plate to absorb any excess fat.
7. When the roasted tomatoes are done, transfer all the contents, including the juices, to a blender. Blend until the mixture resembles a chunky dip. Taste the dip and adjust the seasoning to taste.
8. To serve, arrange the halloumi “fries” on a large platter and place the dip in the middle. Sprinkle with the parsley.