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Grilled Vegetable and Halloumi Salad

The sun is finally rearing its glowing head in Seattle, and I’m ready to soak up all the sunshine after a long and rainy winter. It makes me want to bust out my grill and put those lovely char marks on everything, except apartment living doesn’t allow me to actually have a grill. Insert sad face emoji here. But what I do have is my trusty grill pan, and it gets the job done, lovely char marks and all.

The thing that really makes this recipe special is the grilled halloumi cheese. If you’ve never had it, it’s a mediterranean, semi hard, brined cheese with a high melting point, so it is easily grilled without turning into a pile of goo. It’s a perfect accompaniment to grilled vegetables, sweet fruits like watermelon or peaches, or a delightful swap in for mozzarella in your next caprese salad.

My grilled vegetable and halloumi salad uses a bed of warm farro tossed in a tangy lemon dressing to make this a complete meal, and if you can find the quick cooking farro (I use the Trader Joes 10 minute farro), you can have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less. Which means more time to enjoy the sunshine, and we could all use a little more Vitamin D.

Grilled Vegetable and Halloumi Salad

Grilled Vegetable and Halloumi Salad

Grilled Vegetable and Halloumi Salad

Ingredients:

3 zucchini

1 eggplant

2 red peppers

4 oz shiitake mushrooms, woody stems removed

1 red onion

8 1/2 oz halloumi cheese, sliced

3/4 C olive oil + more for vegetables

1 tsp kosher salt + more for vegetables

pepper

1 clove garlic, grated

1/2 C lemon juice

1/4 tsp aleppo pepper

2 1/2 C cooked farro

basil

Slice zucchini and eggplant into large planks, the red onion into 1/2” slices, and red peppers into quarters. On a large baking sheet drizzle all the vegetables with olive oil, and liberally season with kosher salt and pepper. I just eyeballed the amount of olive oil here. Use just enough so that each piece of vegetable is lightly coated with oil, not taking a bath in it. Toss everything to coat evenly. Rub a little olive oil onto the sliced halloumi cheese, but there is no need to salt it. It is a very salty cheese.

Using a very hot grill pan or outdoor grill, if you are so lucky to have space to use one, grill vegetables until each side has nice char marks and are softened, but still have some crunch. Grill cheese until each side has nice char marks and begins to crisp up.

Make the dressing. In a large jar, combine 3/4 C olive oil, lemon juice, 1 tsp kosher salt, aleppo pepper, and garlic. Shake until the dressing emulsifies. Stir 1/2 C of the dressing into the warm farro. Top the farro with grilled vegetables and halloumi. Drizzle more dressing on top if needed, and a sprinkle of torn basil leaves. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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