Man oh man oh man… do I have the perfect sandwich for you! Think BLT but better and vegetarian. Yep, this Avocado crema halloumi sandwich delivers. Big time!
With the incredibly warm, I’m talking summer-temperatures warm, April I’ve been craving tomato sandwiches 24/7. Luckily for me, the first batches of local heirloom tomatoes started popping up at the grocery stores, so of course I grabbed a few. I can’t walk away from a juicy red tomato. Never.
And these heirlooms were good! Aromatic, juicy, sweet, perfect. The rest of the ingredients sort of fell together once I had that tomato. The result is this wonderful avocado crema halloumi sandwich.
To be completely honest I’m not entirely ready for summer just yet. I mean, I don’t mind the extra light evenings and all the summer produce, but the heat I absolutely hate. I do wish spring lasted a bit longer. How else are we gonna rock those Spring coats and parkas???
Besides, our air conditioning is dead and we’re waiting for a new unit to be installed and well… let’s just say it couldn’t come quicker because I’m sometimes sweating in places I don’t want. (TMI???)
But this avocado crema halloumi sandwich does make me feel a bit better. Let’s start with the crema, shall we? It’s such a wonderful little spread. Very reminiscent of guacamole, but smoother and fluffier. It’s made with a bit of yogurt and a bit of sour cream, however you can pick either side and go for only yogurt or only sour cream. I actually prefer the combination of both, because sour cream is amazing but yogurt makes it a bit lighter.
Next up is the halloumi! I think there are other things that would fit pretty nicely in this sandwich, but none make me as excited as the thought of halloumi. You’re probably familiar with it, but if you’re not, it’s a Greek type of cheese that is firm and perfect for grilling. It has a slightly salty taste, but the overall flavor is pretty mild and milky.
The rest of the ingredients are very simple: heirloom tomato (as mentioned above), baby spinach, fresh basil and ciabatta bread. Even though I’ve made this sandwich with different bread before, like burger buns, I have to say that the simple, rustic ciabatta seems to fit the best. Another thing I’ve tried are other greens like arugula, but baby spinach wins in this fight. You can always do a mixture of both too.
As you read the recipe for this avocado crema halloumi sandwich, you’ll see that it’s so simple to make and I love to have it for lunch or an easy dinner. You’ll be left with some extra avocado crema, which is perfect because I think you should add some tortilla chips (and possibly beer) and make this a whole dinner party.
(Also, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this, but my mouth is seriously watering right now as I write about this sandwich. It’s THAT good.)
- 2 ripe avocados, skin and pit removed
- juice from 1/2 lime
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 60g (1/4 cup) Greek yogurt (full fat preferable)
- 60g (1/4 cup) sour cream
- 1-2 tablespoons oil (I use sunflower, but olive is fine too)
- 250g (9 oz) Halloumi cheese
- 100g (3.5 oz / small loaf) Ciabatta bread
- handful of baby spinach
- large heirloom tomato, sliced
- small bunch of fresh basil
- First make the avocado crema
Combine all ingredients in a food processor (or a bowl and use an immersion blender). Blend on medium speed until the ingredients come together and the mixture is smooth. Taste to see if you need more salt, lime juice or cumin. Transfer avocado crema to a jar and keep covered while you prepare the rest.
- Pour oil into a non stick pan and set over medium-high heat. Slice halloumi lengthwise into 4 thin pieces and place all in the pan (do it in batches if you have a smaller pan). Cook each slice for a few minutes or until it’s golden brown, then flip over and cook until the other side is deep golden too. Transfer to a plate.
- Assemble sandwiches:
Halve ciabatta loaf lengthwise then cut into 2, so you get 2 sandwiches. Take the first, open it and spread avocado crema over each inner side. Place some spinach on the bottom bread layer. Top it with 2 slices of halloumi, then 1-2 slices of tomato, then a few leaves of basil, more spinach and lastly cover it with the top half of ciabatta. Repeat with the other portion.
- Serve, ideally with a side of leftover avocado crema and some tortilla chips. (And a drink, if you’re feeling it.)
To make this vegan: Skip yogurt and sour cream in avocado crema and make it without. Substitute halloumi for tofu.