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Paleo Halloumi Mushroom Burger

This Paleo Halloumi Mushroom Burger is a monster of a burger – with sesame portobello mushroom buns, grilled aubergine and beefsteak tomatoes, nocellara olives, chargrilled paprika halloumi, and a mint and tahini yogurt dressing it will just blow your mind… And breeeeathe (and maybe drool a little whilst you’re at it too)… It’s basically a bit of a fusion between Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Western cuisine and oh my is it tasty!

Don’t let the huge list of ingredients put you off though – this burger is so simple to make and of course is packed full of amazingly nutritious foods!

For a vegan option you could lose the halloumi and use some cashew cheese or even a tablespoon of nutritional yeast per burger could work out nicely. If you are strict Paleo some peri-peri chargrilled chicken breasts would work really well too!!!

Ingredients:

For the ‘burger buns’:

8 portobello mushrooms, de-stalked (2 per burger)
1 tsp black or white sesame seeds
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For the grilled vegetables:

2 beefsteak tomatoes (sliced widthways)
1 aubergine (sliced widthways)
3-4 tbsp chopped and pitted nocellara olives
1/2 tsp sea salt flakes or 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
Zest 1 lemon
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Mint leaves from 2 sprigs

For the chargrilled paprika halloumi:

450g halloumi cheese (chopped into chunky slices)
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
2 tsp garlic powder

For the mint and tahini yogurt dressing:

125g coconut yogurt
25-50g fresh mint leaves
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp light tahini
1/4 tsp ground cumin
Pinch Himalayan pink salt (optional)
1/4 large cucumber (finely diced)

Method:

  1. Start by pre-heating your oven to 180°C. Grease two baking trays, one for your burger buns and one for your grilled vegetables, and set aside.
  2. On one tray space out your portobello mushrooms evenly with the ‘cups’ facing downward so that steam will collect inside the mushroom and cook it evenly. Pour over 1/2 tbsp of your olive oil per burger bun and sprinkle 1/4 tsp of your sesame seeds on four of the buns (your lids). Place into the oven and cook for around 10-15 minutes until the juices start to flow but the mushroom is still firm to the touch. Once done remove from the oven and cover the tray in tin foil, with the shiny side facing down, to keep the buns warm.
  3. Pre-heat your grill to almost its highest setting. On your other prepared baking tray evenly spread out your sliced aubergine and beefsteak tomatoes. Sprinkle over your chopped olives, sea salt, black pepper, and lemon zest. Drizzle over your 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and place under your grill under nicely browned over the top but not overcooked!
  4. Whilst you are grilling your vegetables begin to chargrill your halloumi. Lightly grease a griddle pan and place on a high heat. Once the pan and the oil has heated sufficiently place your halloumi cheese in the pan and sprinkle with 1 tsp of sweet smoked paprika and 1 tsp of garlic powder. Cook until the underside has nicely browned and then flip using some tongs. Sprinkle over your remaining 1 tsp of paprika and garlic powder and cook until the underside has browned again. Place to one side until needed later.
  5. Whilst your halloumi is cooking check your grilled vegetables and give them a shimmy if needs be or remove them from the grill.  Once your vegetables have finished grilling shred your mint leaves over the top and cover the tray with tin foil, shiny side down, to keep warm.
  6. Now prepare your mint and tahini yogurt dressing. Place all of your ingredients (except for your cucumber) into a Nutribullet type blender or a food processor and blend until smooth. Stir in your finely diced cucumber.
  7. Now it is burger assembly time! Place your mushroom burger bun bottom (with the mushroom cup facing upward) on a plate, place a beefsteak tomato slice and drizzle with a little dressing, add 2 slices of halloumi and drizzle some dressing again, now add your aubergine slice and yes now drizzle some more dressing but a slightly more generous amount, and finally top with your sesame burger bun top! You might want to use some large cocktail sticks to hold your bun in place! Now get some hankies at the ready because biting into this bad boy is anything but glamorous! But it certainly is delicious!

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