Lebanese Za’atar-roasted Vegetable and Halloumi Filo Pie with Dill & Lemon Zest

I’ve started making proper Sunday lunches. It’s not something I’ve ever aspired to do but my husband is from Yorkshire, a county where tradition rules. So, what to pair with a mountain of crispy roasted potatoes and the ubiquitous Yorkshire pudding? This is a constant challenge for me, a vegetarian cook whose heart resides on the shores of my beloved Mediterranean. Today, this sumptuously lovely Lebanese-style filo pie will take centre stage alongside golden saffron-roasted potatoes and a bowl of steaming hindbeh, a Lebanese dish of bitter spring greens topped with caramelised onions (it’s usually made with dandelion leaves but it’s a bit to early for those of us residing in the northern hemisphere; it’s also lovely with bitter chicory leaves).



2 large red peppers, deseeded, membranes removed and cut into 2cm pieces
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm pieces
1 red onion, roughly chopped
2 large courgettes, cut into 2cm pieces
200g wild mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 tsp of za’atar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to your taste
250g halloumi, cut into 1cm pieces
1 large lemon, zested
30g of fresh dill, roughly chopped
x4 large sheets of filo pastry
1 free range egg, beaten
Nigella seeds, for garnishing

How I make it

Heat an oven to 200C.

Pile the prepared vegetables in a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the za’atar and a generous pinch of sea salt. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes gently turning the vegetables half way through to ensure even cooking. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

When the vegetables have cooled down, take a large pie dish and arrange the filo sheets over it, allowing each sheet to overhang the dish.

Add the halloumi, lemon zest and dill to the roasted vegetables. Season to your taste and tumble the mixture into the pie dish. Gently fold over the overhanging filo sheets to cover the pie.

Brush the top with the beaten egg and scatter with nigella seeds.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is warmed through.

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