Roughly two months ago, I watched Nigella Lawson prepare a dish on her cooking show using halloumi. I was in complete awe of this cheese and knew I had to try it! While shopping for random groceries, I found halloumi cheese and I knew I could pair the cheese with some veggies to prepare some great tasting skewers.
Halloumi is a Cypriot firm, brined, slightly springy white cheese, traditionally made from a mixture of goat and sheep milk, although these days, cow’s milk is also used. Its texture is similar to that of mozzarella, except that it has a strong, salty flavour from the brine. Cooking halloumi removes most of its saltiness and leaves behind a very creamy texture.
Since the cheese has a high melting point, it can be easily fried or grilled. That’s why a grilled skewer dish was just the thing I needed to do to get my Nigella on! (I love her, but don’t tell Ree!)
The process of marinating is by far the easiest way to infuse flavour – at least that’s my belief. When you create a marinade, especially for grilling recipes, you’re doing two things at once. First, you’re creating a flavour profile that will carry itself throughout the entire dish (assuming you marinate everything together) and secondly, you’re pre-oiling the ingredients so that they will not stick to the grill. That’s why it is so important to include oil with a high burning point to any grilling marinade; olive oil is perfect.
If you’re looking for a skewer/kebab recipe that will please everyone – this is it! The charred flavour on the veggies and the creaminess of the salty cheese is the perfect combination. Add to that the flavours of the garlic and fresh herbs and you’ve got a winning dish!
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1 ½ inch square pieces
- ½ red onion, chopped into 1 ½ inch square pieces
- 1 zucchini, large, sliced ½ inch thick
- 1 250g package halloumi
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Sesame seeds for garnish, optional
- With the exception of the cheese and the veggies, whisk together all other ingredients in a large, shallow bowl.
- Add the veggies and the cheese and marinate for 30 minutes.
- Skewer the cheese and veggies onto a metal skewer in an alternating fashion. Preserve the marinade.
- Preheat the grill to a medium heat.
- Place the skewers on direct heat and grill for 2-3 minutes. Baste with the remaining marinade and turn to grill for another 2-3 minutes. Repeat. Remember to baste every time you turn the skewer.
- Garnish with sesame seeds for added flavour. Serve immediately.