No Christmas is complete without vegetarian pigs in blankets.
Well, actually, to me, no Christmas is complete without seeing lots of friends of family, but covid-19 has seen to that one.
So we’ll make do with what we’ve got, and be grateful for it.
And what we have are vegetarian pigs in blankets
There are many things I love about Christmas, and food is certainly one of them. When I first started my veggie journey so many years ago, I did initially struggle with two times of year as a non meat-eater.
They were Christmas and BBQs.
Christmas main courses were quickly solved, as were roasted veggies and desserts, of course. But what about alternatives to meat-based sides like pigs in a blanket? Not so easy.
Or so I thought, anyway.
It turns out halloumi was the missing ingredient. Halloumi, and smoked paprika.
Regular paprika will do if you’re in a push, but if you can get the smoked stuff then it’s well worth it.
Halloumi is the perfect ‘pig’ and courgette or aubergine (or both!) are great as the ‘blanket’. Or should that be zucchini and eggplant?
You can add flavourings to your heart’s content, but salt, pepper and paprika are the bare basics.
If you’ve got those, you can make awesome vegetarian pigs in blankets. Or halloumi pigs in blankets, I suppose.
Right over here we have a great new take on honey roasted carrots and parsnips, too.
Need a dessert? A favourite here is cinnamon baked pears with walnuts and maple syrup. Lush.
Which veg is easier to use, aubergine or zucchini? Or eggplant or courgette.
One thing occurred to me as a wrote this recipe out.
The two vegetables used as blankets in vegetarian pigs in a blanket have different names across the globe in just the English language.
So if you’ve never heard of a courgette or aubergine before, I simply mean a zucchini or eggplant.
An apparently now obsolete name for aubergine is mad-apple, which is just the best so far.
Anyway, I found while testing this recipe that zucchini (or courgette) is nice and easy to slice with a cheese slicer, while aubergine (eggplant) needs a sharp knife.
Taste-wise, personal preference wins out here. For me, I just can’t decide and I make the recipe using both aubergine and zucchini.
Why not? It is Christmas after all.
Vegetarian Pigs in Blankets
- 1 pack halloumi (7oz / 200g)
- 1 courgette (zucchini)
- 1 aubergine (eggplant)
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tsp smoked paprika (or regular)
- Handful basil, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/390°F.
- Using a cheese slicer or vegetable peeler, peel slices of courgette and aubergine skin. You may need to use a knife for the aubergine.
- Lay the slices of veg onto a lined baking tray and bake for about ten minutes, until they’ve softened a little.
- Remove the vegetable slices from the heat and leave to cool slightly, whilst slicing the halloumi into thick slices, and about as wide as a slice of veg.
- Wrap the vegetable slices around the halloumi and lay back on the lined baking tray. Sprinkle over the salt, pepper and paprika powder.
- Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, until the halloumi is soft and beginning to brown.
- Add the lemon juice and basil for the last five minutes.
- Serve as a side dish along with your favourite Christmas treats! Delicious!