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Halloumi Eggplant Stir-Fry

Serves 4.


    Halloumi Eggplant Stir-Fry

    Middle Eastern cuisine is trending, and this stir-fry puts to use some of its greatest imports. Labneh, an ultra-thick strained yogurt, serves as a creamy base for smoky whole grain freekeh, tender chunks of halloumi (a semi-soft cheese that resists melting over high heat), silky eggplant, and crunchy-sweet pomegranate. It’s all the motivation you need to make a trip to your local Middle Eastern grocer.



    • If needed, full-fat Greek yogurt can be used in lieu of labneh, pine nuts can be swapped out for toasted walnuts, and dried cherries would work as a replacement for pomegranate.
    • Making your own labneh is far from a high-flying kitchen feat. Simply line a strainer with a couple layers of cheesecloth and set over a bowl deep enough so that its bottom is a few inches above the bottom of the bowl where the strained liquid will collect. Stir 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt into 2 cups (500 mL) plain full-fat yogurt (not Greek style) and place the yogurt in the lined strainer. Fold the ends of the cheesecloth over the yogurt and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. The longer it sits, the thicker the labneh gets.


    Halloumi Eggplant Stir-Fry


    • 1 large unpeeled eggplant, cut into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) cubes
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
    • 1 cup (250 mL) cracked freekeh
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil, divided
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) pine nuts
    • 250 g pkg halloumi, sliced into 1 in (1.25 cm) cubes
    • 1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
    • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
    • 2 tsp (10 mL) zaíatar seasoning
    • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
    • 1 cup (250 mL) labneh
    • 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) ground sumac (optional)
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped parsley
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) pomegranate seeds


    Per serving:

    • calories86
    • protein5g
    • fat3g
      • saturated fat0g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates12g
      • sugars0g
      • fibre2g
    • sodium59mg



    Place eggplant in a colander placed in the sink or over a bowl, toss with 1 tsp (5 mL) salt, and set aside to drain for about 30 minutes. Rinse eggplant thoroughly and pat dry.


    In medium-sized saucepan, bring 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) water and a couple pinches salt to a boil. Add freekeh, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, until water is absorbed and freekeh is tender, about 18 minutes. Set aside, covered, for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork.


    Heat wok or large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tsp (5 mL) oil and swirl to coat pan. Add pine nuts to pan and heat, stirring constantly, until slightly browned, about 30 seconds. Remove nuts from pan and set aside. Raise heat to medium-high, add remaining 2 tsp (10 mL) oil to pan, and place halloumi in pan; heat 3 minutes, or until cheese is golden. Remove halloumi from pan and set aside. Place eggplant in pan and heat until softened, about 2 minutes, stirring often. Add red pepper and garlic to pan; heat 1 minute. Return halloumi to pan and stir in zau2019atar and balsamic vinegar.


    Spread labneh over serving plates and sprinkle on sumac if using. Top with freekeh and halloumi mixture. Sprinkle on pine nuts, parsley, and pomegranate seeds.


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    This recipe is part of the Stir It Up collection.



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