Grilling turns halloumi cheese and vegetables into a hearty warm and smoky salad.
Grilled Vegetable and Halloumi Salad
SERVES 4 to 6 FAST VEG
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Grilled vegetables are the perfect basis for a summer supper. We set out to match nicely charred pieces of vegetables with chunks of briny halloumi cheese to create a warm and hearty salad. Halloumi cheese, popular in Greece, has a solid consistency and high melting point, making it perfect for grilling. The halloumi becomes beautifully charred and crisp in contrast to its chewy warm interior. To keep with a Greek theme, we chose eggplant, radicchio, and zucchini for the vegetables. After grilling the radicchio for just 5 minutes and the eggplant, zucchini, and cheese for 10 minutes, the vegetables and cheese were perfectly browned, tender, and redolent with smoky flavor. We simply chopped all the grilled goodies before tossing everything with a sweet and herbaceous honey and thyme vinaigrette, which was perfect with the salty cheese and bitter radicchio. This salad is hearty enough to serve as a main dish and pairs well with grilled bread. The halloumi may appear to stick to the grill at first, but as it continues to brown it will naturally release and flip easily.
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 3 tablespoons juice
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
1 pound eggplant, sliced into ½-inch-thick rounds
1 head radicchio (10 ounces), quartered
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise
1 (8-ounce) block halloumi cheese, sliced into ½-inch-thick slabs
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Whisk honey, thyme, lemon zest and juice, garlic, ⅛ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper together in large bowl; set aside. Brush eggplant, radicchio, zucchini, and halloumi with 2 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper.
2A. FOR A CHARCOAL GRILL: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter half filled with charcoal briquettes (3 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
2B. FOR A GAS GRILL: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium.
3. Clean cooking grate, then repeatedly brush grate with well-oiled paper towels until grate is black and glossy, 5 to 10 times. Place vegetables and cheese on grill. Cook (covered if using gas), flipping as needed, until radicchio is softened and lightly charred, 3 to 5 minutes, and remaining vegetables and cheese are softened and lightly charred, about 10 minutes. Transfer vegetables and cheese to cutting board as they finish cooking, let cool slightly, then cut into 1-inch pieces.
4. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons oil into honey mixture. Add vegetables and cheese and gently toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.