Pumpkin and haloumi bruschettta

Some of my favourite things are combined in these tasty bruschetta; perfect for serving as a snack, or to pass around among friends with a chilled glass of wine. Sweet pumpkin, salty and squeaky haloumi, tangy lemon, crunchy almonds and fragrant oregano work wonderfully together to top the toasted slices of bread. Use the best olive oil you can afford to drizzle over the top because it will release a fruity perfume as it touches the warm haloumi and pumpkin, making the bruschetta irresistible. Enough waxing lyrical; go make them!

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Makes 16

1 medium-sized french bread stick
600 g Kent pumpkin
250 g haloumi cheese, sliced into 16 pieces
1/4 cup oven roasted almonds, roughly chopped
a handful fresh oregano or marjoram
1 lemon
good olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 200 C. Cut the pumpkin into thin wedges, leaving the skin on, but with the seeds and membrane removed. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with sea salt. Roast for 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Meanwhile, cut the bread stick diagonally into 16 pieces and toast on a griddle pan on both sides until golden and crisp. When the pumpkin is cooked, carefully remove the skins and break up into chunks in a medium sized bowl. In a medium pan heat a tablespoon of olive oil and cook the haloumi on both sides until it is golden. It should take about 2 minutes per side. To assemble, place the pumpkin and haloumi on top of the bruschetta and season with black pepper. Top with the fresh oregano and the almonds and the zest of the lemon. Lastly drizzle over a little more olive oil (I use a beautiful lemon-infused olive oil for this) and serve straight away.

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