Aubergine and Halloumi Stacks

The great thing about these baked vegetable stacks is that they stay extra soft inside but go crisp at the edges, holding all the flavour and juice in the centre. Rinsing the grated halloumi reduces the saltiness so that it doesn’t overly dominate. If you can’t get halloumi then another melting cheese like mozzarella works well too. This is hugely rich, so just a couple per person will be enough when served with grilled meats or fish. Grilling or frying the aubergine slices inn advance – just keep them in the fridge – means you can make these in a flash.

Makes 8-10 Stacks

  • 3–4 aubergines, sliced into rounds
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing the aubergines
  • 175g grated halloumi, rinsed and squeezed dry
  • 6–8 tomatoes, sliced intorounds
  • small bunch of fresh herbs, such as mint, parsley or basil
  • 2 chunky garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

Heat an overhead grill or griddle until very hot. Lightly brush the aubergine slices with olive oil then grill or griddle until soft – about 2 minutes on each side.

Line a tray with non-stick baking paper. Heat the oven to 200ºC / 180ºC fan / Gas 6.

Layer the stacks with 3 aubergine slices, some grated halloumi, 2 tomato slices and a pinch of herbs in between each layer. Place the stacks on the tray, stick a toothpick through each centre to keep them upright then either cover and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to cook them (they’ll be fine for 2–3 days) or bake for 20–25 minutes, until hot and sizzling. While they’re baking, heat the olive oil in a small pan and fry the garlic slices until golden. Place a few slices on top of each stack to serve.