"Simplicity and freshness, for me, are the two things any good cuisine is built on. This dish is one you see all throughout Lebanon. I remember driving from Beirut to Sidon and stopping on the side of the road at a simple store where a man with a huge moustache was making fresh cheese sandwiches—one man, a toaster, some labneh, haloumi, a mound of fresh flat bread, spices, olive oil and a few other bits and pieces. He had a line out the door! This man cooked me a toasted sandwich with haloumi and za'atar drizzled with olive oil and local sea salt. I sat on the kerb out the front of his shop and savoured every mouthful. Simple, fresh and cooked with love. Heaven." - Shane Delia.
1 tsp pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted
Seeds from 1 small pomegranate
1 Tbs pomegranate molasses
1 tsp za'atar (or dried thyme)
1 cocktail onion, finely diced
1 tsp pine nuts, toasted
1 Tbs sumac
A few rosemary sprigs
150 ml (5½ fl oz) olive oil
Pinch of salt flakes
300 g (10½ oz) haloumi cheese, sliced into 1 cm (½ inch) thick portions
Combine all the ingredients, except the haloumi, in a mixing bowl. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Heat a large chargrill pan or frying pan over high heat. Add the haloumi and cook for 1 minute on each side or until golden. Press the haloumi with a spatula; when there is no resistance the haloumi is cooked.
Remove the haloumi from the pan and transfer onto paper towel to drain, then divide among serving plates.
Drizzle over the pomegranate and sumac dressing and serve immediately.