Black olive and halloumi filo cigars - these are so good for serving alongside a healthy salad to make it feel like a bit more of a treat!

You can’t beat a take away after a tiring day – but a lot of the time we resist because they’re usually not the healthiest option (not the way I order food, anyway…).

However!! We’ve recently discovered a Turkish restaurant in our town which does amazing food that’s a lot healthier than a creamy curry or oily chips. My new favourite thing ever is their vegetable kebab meal (which is basically a huge pile of griddled veggies, served with bulgur wheat, salad and homemade flatbread). It’s utterly gorgeous, and although it’s still a bit of a feast, it’s definitely one of the healthier options. I never thought I could be so flippin’ excited about bulgur wheat.

Black olive and halloumi filo cigars - these are so good for serving alongside a healthy salad to make it feel like a bit more of a treat!

There is one naughtier item that comes with the veggie kebab, though – a couple of cheesy filo cigars. This particular restaurant calls them sigara boregi, but I’ve seen variations of the spelling in other places. They’re basically long, thin filo rolls stuffed with white cheese (I used halloumi, but any similar hard white cheese would work). They make the meal feel like a real treat, even though the rest of it is on the healthier side.

Healthy take away + a little taste of something naughty = happy happy Becca

Black olive and halloumi filo cigars - these are so good for serving alongside a healthy salad to make it feel like a bit more of a treat!

These halloumi filo cigars really couldn’t be easier to make. You need a couple of layers of filo for each cigar – I tried using just one layer, but it worked better with two. Place the two layers on top of each other, spoon on some chopped halloumi, olives (my own addition) and plenty of fresh herbs, and roll ’em up, tucking in the ends as you go. They take about 10 minutes to prepare, and that’s including faffing with the filo and putting your fingers through it multiple times.

We served our filo cigars for dinner with a big salad, but you could go the whole hog and recreate my favourite new take away if you like, with loads of veggies and flatbread. A veritable feast.

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Black olive and halloumi filo cigars - these are so good for serving alongside a healthy salad to make it feel like a bit more of a treat!

Black olive and halloumi filo cigars (sigara boregi)

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Servings: 7 cigars

Ingredients

  • 250 g halloumi cheese, cut into 1/2 cm dice (~ 2 cups when diced)
  • 2 tbsp black olives, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • Black pepper
  • ~ 14 pieces of filo pastry (mine measured 8 x 11 inches)
  • Spray oil or melted butter

Instructions

  • Combine the diced halloumi, black olives, and herbs in a large bowl, and mix well. Season with black pepper (you won't need salt as the halloumi is quite salty).
  • Lay out a rectangle of filo pastry (mine measured around 8 x 11 inches). Spray it lightly with oil or brush with melted butter, and place another piece on top. Spread a couple of tablespoons of the halloumi mixture along one of the short edges. Begin to roll the halloumi in the filo, tucking in the ends every now and then. Place on a lined baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining ingredients (I ended up with 7 cigars).
  • Bake at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around 45 minutes, or until the filo pastry is golden brown and crispy.
Course: Side Dish
Author: Becca Heyes

 

Filo cigars NI

Note: nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose.

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