Halloumi and mint are a classic Cypriot flavor combination and they meld so perfectly together. This recipe is inspired by my hosts at the Bougainvillea Guesthouse in North Nicosia, who greeted me with a plate of these when I checked in, tired and weary, after an international flight. They are fantastic picnic food, delicious eaten alongside a soup or a stew, or make a very tasty addition to a brunch table. I think they taste best on the day that you make them, but they will keep for a few days in an airtight container, or they also freeze well. As muffins need to be worked as little as possible so that their texture stays light, keep the amount of stirring you do to a minimum.
- 1⅓ cup / 150g grated halloumi cheese
- 1⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon / 175g all-purpose flour
- ½ cup / 50g whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons nigella seeds
- 1½ teaspoons dried mint
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 7 tablespoons / 100ml olive oil
- ⅔ cup / 180g full-fat Greek-style yogurt
- Salt and white pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C and line a muffin pan with 12 paper liners.
- Place the halloumi, both flours, the baking powder, nigella seeds, and mint in a large mixing bowl and add 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and white pepper.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, and yogurt, then stir them into the flour mixture until just combined. Do not overmix, or the muffins will be dense.
- Spoon the batter into the muffin liners and bake for about 20 minutes, until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin emerges clean.