Marjoram-Roasted Vegetable, Lentil & Halloumi Bake

While I was in Corsica, I tried many delicious vegetarian dishes that were simply prepared yet full of flavour from fresh herbs and garlic. Marjoram is a versatile and aromatic herb that works beautifully with vegetables; it’s similar in taste to oregano but with a milder sweeter flavour. This dish is easy to prepare for a mid-week dinner – just toss it all together in the one dish! For a creamy topping, serve with a little Greek yoghurt or hummus. This is great on its own or with my Quick Flatbreads.

Found in this book

Ainsley's Mediterranean Cookbook


Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6.

Put the courgettes, onion, aubergine, red pepper, chilli and garlic into a large, shallow baking dish, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, season well, then scatter over half of the marjoram and toss together. Roast for 16–18 minutes.

Remove from the oven and toss through the lentils and balsamic vinegar, then stir in the cherry tomatoes and sit the halloumi slices on top. Drizzle with another 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle over the lemon zest and remaining marjoram. Roast for a further 16–18 minutes until the tomatoes start to blister and release their juices and the halloumi is golden around the edges. If you like, you can brown the halloumi a little more under a hot grill for 1–2 minutes after baking.

To serve, drizzle with a little oil, squeeze over the lemon juice and scatter with the fresh basil.



  • 2 courgettes, cut into 2-cm slices
  • 1 red onion, cut into 8 thin wedges
  • 1 medium aubergine, cut into small cubes
  • 2 red peppers, de-seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 tsp fresh marjoram leaves (or 1 tsp dried oregano)
  • 1 x 400g tin lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 x 250g block halloumi, thickly sliced
  • zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 8-10 basil leaves, shredded, with a few reserved whole for garnish
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper