Monday, July 7, 2014

Vegetable and Halloumi Skewers

How was everyone's 4th of July? This year we celebrated with good friends who were nice enough to grill for us, as our grill is currently on a truck somewhere between Massachusetts and Texas. We had a wonderful time and had way too much food, as we usually do when we get together -- burgers, sweet corn, roasted radishes, curly fries and onion rings, salad, chips with guacamole and salsa, watermelon, these vegetable and halloumi skewers, and chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches. We powered through so valiantly that our forefathers would have been proud.

These skewers and especially the halloumi were a huge hit. Halloumi is a Mediterranean cheese, originally from the island of Cyprus, that is firm and wonderfully salty. It has a high melting point, so it's perfect for grilling. It's a little pricey and hard to find, but if you can splurge a little, it's a treat that's well worth it! Happy grilling!
Makes ~8 Skewers
3 medium zucchini, sliced into 3/4" rounds
2 orange bell peppers, seeded and cut into roughly 1" squares
8-10 cremini mushrooms, halved
8-16 oz halloumi cheese, sliced into ~3/4" cubes
(I made do with 8 oz to be a little more frugal)
1 medium yellow onion, peeled, quartered, and pieces separated
2 Tb red wine vinegar
2 Tb lemon juice from 1 lemon
1-2 Tb fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
Optional: 1 lemon sliced into wedges for garnish
Note: If you're using wood skewers, be sure to soak them in water, at least 30 minutes, prior to placing the vegetables on them and grilling. This will keep the skewer from burning up on the grill.
In a large bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, lemon juice, mint, and salt and pepper until the salt dissolves. Then whisk in the olive oil until combined.
Add the vegetables and halloumi to the bowl, and toss with the vinaigrette until well coated. Let sit for a couple of minutes and toss again (I repeated this a couple times)
Thread the vegetables and halloumi onto skewers, alternating as you go. Thread the halloumi gently in an attempt to prevent it from splitting.
Grill the skewers over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes. Flip and grill for another 4 minutes, or until the cheese is beginning to brown and the vegetables have slightly charred and begin to soften.
Serve immediately and enjoy! (For a little extra flavor, you can squeeze a couple lemon wedges over the skewers once they come off the grill and before you serve them)

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