Heat you little bugger you continue and even I am getting used to it.  Ice lollies, jugs of water in the fridge, moaning kids and adults and sunburned toes.  Cooking is hardly a priority.  Tomatoes, ideally, don’t live in the fridge.  The flavour disappears and the texture goes like those over-ripe melons from last week: woolly.
Much is made of ‘UK grown tomatoes!!!’. Great, we think, no air miles, much better, right?
Sorry guys.  Tomatoes are a crop that needs a hella lotta sun and heat to ripen. I can’t even grow cherry tomatoes in my little shady yard, they just stay green.  Getting tomatoes to full red ripeness in the UK requires polytunnels (giant greenhouses) and heating.  Yes, heating.  Burning fossil fuels to heat single glazed glasshouses to 20°C in February is environmentally insane. For every kilo of tomatoes grown in a glass hothouse in the UK, 2-3 kilos of CO2 are released into the atmosphere.
Even with this heatwave, your toms are likely to have needed some help along the way as, given natural growth cycles, those little fruits wouldn’t be nearly ready to ripen. So as they start to dehydrate or even go the tiniest bit mouldy, then cut out the rot and get them cooked.  NOW!
Pairing halloumi with sad tomatos is great, because that strong, sweet flavour from the tomatoes goes brilliantly with the salty cheese.
“Oh god halloumi I love hallmoumi it’s best I’m having *this* breakfast” said a wise, veggie, colleague to me over some laminated breakfast menus.
“What’s that?”
“Cheese that’s so good it’s like bacon”
I couldn’t understand it, sounded odd.  Eight years on and I trek to Penge Food Centre for their ‘5 bags for £8’ bundles. And while I’m there, a cheap bunch of flat parsley.  And Turkish delight. And olives. And sambal. And 3 bags of pitta breads for a quid.
Olive oil, some garlic if you’ve got it, some spring onions and you can cook up your sad toms into a pitta filling fit for a queen, or just a light meal.  Chuck in some hummus, olives and salad on the side and you’re talking.

Tomato & Halloumi pittas

Serves 2


Olive oil
4 regular tomatoes
1/2 pack halloumi
1 clove garlic
Few spring onions
Salt & pepper
Chilli flakes (optional)
Flat leaf parsley (to taste – I like a lot, about 5g, but do yours to taste)
Pitta bread, to serve

Chopping board
Clean tea towel/kitchen paper
Frying pan
Slotted spoon/flipper
Wooden spoon

Optional tools
Garlic press
Measuring spoons

10 minutes prep
20-30 minutes cook



Chop the tomatoes into chunky pieces, discarding any grungy bits
Squash/crush/mince garlic
Chop halloumi into pieces similar size to tomaoes and dry on clean tea-towel/kitchen paper
Slice spring onion into rounds
If using, roughly chop a handful of parsley


Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil until warm
Add garlic and stir around for ONE MINUTE
Add tomatoes and stir and season; turn the heat down and cook through for about 20m until soft, stirring and squashing from time to time
When tomatoes are squidgy, scrape them out onto a plate
Pour in another tablespoon of oil into the frying pan and warm through
Place the halloumi into the pan and cook until golden on all sides, flipping around
When the halloumi is all cooked, return the tomatoes to the pan and, if using, the sliced spring onions and chilli and warm through for a couple of minutes
Toast pitta breads
Just before serving add parsley. check to see if you need more salt/pepper/chilli
Stuff into pitta breads. Devour.


Cold halloumi isn’t great, but it will keep for a few days, covered, in the fridge


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