Yes, I realize it’s officially Fall now, but it sure doesn’t feel like it my neck of the tropics. It’s less sweater weather and more swimsuit season here. I’m definitely not complaining. It’s just a struggle to get into the mood to bake up something warm and cinnamon-spiced when it’s 85° inside the house. I feel like I may be suffering a mild case of heatstroke and I’m convinced my brain is boiling inside of my skull, sending my writing abilities up in smoke. So, I am keeping the heat out of the kitchen and grilling up one of my favorite al fresco meals, Mediterranean Grain Salad with Grilled Halloumi.
As Summer (supposedly) fades and Fall creeps in, it’s the ideal time of year to play with transitional ingredients. This salad melds the seasons perfectly. It’s still light and fresh but has just enough gooey, savory goodness to satisfy that hankering for hearty meal. This recipe for Mediterranean Grain Salad with Grilled Halloumi is tried and true and tastes fabulous any time of year. Pair it with a liberal dollop of my homemade Tzatziki Recipe for the ultimate Mediterranean escape.
- Trader Joe's Harvest Grain Blend - 1/2 bag (1 1/4 cups)
- butter - 1 tablespoon
- garbanzo beans - 1 can
- cherry tomatoes - 1 cup
- cucumber - 1, peeled and sliced into quarter slices
- fresh parsley - 1 cup, chopped
- lemons - 3
- olive oil - 3-4 tablespoons
- harissa spice - 1 tablespoon
- coarse sea salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Halloumi - 1 package (8 oz.)
- Begin by cooking half of the Trader Joe's Harvest Grain Salad per the instructions on the bag. Spread the cooked grains over a baking sheet and chill in the fridge.
- Chop the veggies and parsley as desired. Toss with the chilled grain salad and drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Then squeeze in the juice of 1-2 lemons. Toss together and store in the fridge.
- Warm 1-2 TB of olive oil over medium heat in a heavy skillet. Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas and allow to cook until they have browned and crisped on all sides. This should take 8-10 minutes(ish).
- Transfer the chickpeas into a medium sized mixing bowl and toss with harissa seasoning and sea salt, toss until fully coated. Set aside.
- Warm your grill on a medium-high heat. Slice the halloumi block into 1/2" thick strips and place directly on a the grate of the grill. Cook until they start to caramelize and char up, this should happen within a couple of minutes. Once one side looks nice and charred and it smells like the most amazing grilled cheese on earth, turn it over and make the other side match.
- Transfer to a plate and spritz with lemon juice then top with parsley.
- Top the grain salad mix with fried chickpeas and serve with the grilled halloumi and a liberal dollop of tzatziki.