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Mel’s Za’atar-Roasted Mushrooms & Sweet Potato Wedges with Halloumi Salad

Melissa Hemsley

Effort:
Complexity:
Cost:

Serves: 2 (main) or share

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

400g chestnut mushrooms or your fave type

1 tbsp za’atar or 2 tsp dried thyme or oregano

2 tbsp olive oil, butter or ghee

1 tbsp pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar

1 handful of pistachios or pumpkin seeds

250g halloumi, sliced into 12, patted dry

Big handful ripe cherry tomatoes, halved

2 handfuls fresh herbs like basil & mint

Sea salt & pepper, to taste

Lemon honey chilli dressing:

5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp za’atar or thyme

½ garlic clove, finely grated

1 tsp raw honey or maple syrup

Fresh chilli, finely chopped or chilli flakes, to taste

Sea salt & pepper, to taste

Veg Portions / Serving: 3

Share:

Lots more mushroom and veg recipes in Melissa’s cookbook Eat Green - this recipe was originally created for @madewithmushrooms Photo @sarahmalcs

Method:

Preheat the oven to 220C. For the mushrooms, keep any smaller chestnut mushrooms whole and roughly chop any large ones into halves and slice the sweet potatoes into thin wedges (not too thick so they roast quickly with the mushrooms).  Take a roasting tray and tumble the mushrooms and sweet potato wedges onto the tray then toss in oil (or melted ghee) with sea salt & pepper then spread out, giving them space, into one even layer (which helps them roast rather than steam) and roast for 20 minutes.

Remove the tray from the oven, drizzle over the pomegranate molasses and sprinkle over the za’atar plus the pistachios, toss again, spread out again and roast for another 10 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender and going golden at the edges.

Meanwhile make the dressing by finely grate the garlic into a clean jam jar then add the rest of the ingredients, pop the lid on and shake until combined. Alternatively whisk in a small bowl.  Season to taste.

When you’re ready to eat, on a large serving platter, scatter over the salad leaves, cherry tomatoes and the fresh herbs, tearing larger ones and keeping smaller herb leaves whole. Distribute the hot mushrooms and sweet potato wedges and drizzle over half the dressing.

Halloumi of course is best eaten straight from the pan so finally cook the halloumi by heating up a large frying pan or griddle pan and fry or griddle the halloumi on each side, undisturbed, for about 90 seconds til nicely golden on each side. Then transfer to the salad platter and drizzle over a little more dressing and finish with the rest of the herbs and pistachios.

Engaging Kids

Engaging Kids

Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.

Kids in the kitchen

Kids in the kitchen

Lots of tossing, scattering and a fair bit of shaking with this recipe – perfect for the little ones. Teach the older kids how to griddle the perfect halloumi. Mind those hot pans!

Activities

Activities

While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.

Sensory

Sensory

Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.

Serving

Serving

The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.

Melissa Hemsley

Chef and best selling author, lover of leftovers and seasonal vegetables and regular volunteer with food waste charities, kids community cooking and ambassador of Fairtrade farmers.

melissahemsley.com/

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