There is a wonderful little Greek street food place hidden in the containers just behind the Coronet in Elephant and Castle. Studying nearby means that my classmates and I often flirt with the possibility of popping over there after a late evening library round, and that’s exactly what I did a few weeks ago.
As it’s a takeaway bar with only one or two stools inside, I sat outside in the shocking cold for 15 minutes to enjoy a soft, summery Athenian pitta chockfull of chicken, halloumi, a few spicy chips, salad and tzatziki – a deliciously incongruous dinner experience.
Since then, I’ve had a hankering for halloumi, the salty, chewy mildness of it, tangy with lemon and festooned with chilli. Spring is ever so slowly creeping in and with that comes a welcome desire for lighter, leafy salad suppers. Of course, the following dish with the oozy, oily frippery of a fried egg on top is hardly what one might call light, but still, it’s a move in the right direction.
This is my attempt to brighten these dreary, dull in-between days; the type of days where nothing makes sense and progress seems like an exotic, far-flung concept out of reach. If you find yourself to be anything like me and mired in these types of thoughts on a daily basis, then I can only ever suggest the sadly therapeutic ritual of slicing the ludicrous green clay of an avocado, or the nonsensical arranging of leaves on a plate, the soft crackle of egg in a pan.
You will need for one:
About 3 chunky slices of halloumi from a 250g block
1 avocado, sliced and dressed with olive oil and salt and pepper
A few salad leaves
About half a large sweet potato
Half a red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
A squeeze of lemon
Salt and pepper
Olive oil for frying, drizzling and roasting
Roast the sweet potato chunks at a high heat (approx. 25 mins). Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt.
When the potato is nearly softened, add the slices of hallumi to an oiled, reasonably hot pan. Sprinkle over the chilli and fry until the cheese is crisp on the outside, assuming a golden-brown marbled armour.
Meanwhile, fry an egg, leaving the yolk suitably runny.
Arrange a healthy hand of leaves on a plate with the avocado slices. Add the cheese with the chilli too. Liberally squeeze lemon over the cheese and avocado. Add a pile of hot sweet potato to the centre of the dish. Crown with a fried egg.