Halloumi is a salty, dense Greek cheese that is super amazing when grilled. My friend Melissa, from Smells Like Brownies, is a big fan so she was pretty excited when I showed her this recipe. Hearty quinoa mixed with lettuce and veggies and topped with warm cheese - delish!
We didn't end up having the cucumbers the original recipe called for, so we used tomatoes instead and they were great. I do really like cucumbers, though, so I would say to use both. The more veg, the better, right? The dressing includes red wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, mint, and scallion - yum!
We also discovered (by oiling one side and not the other of an electric grill) that the cheese gets better grill marks when the grill is not oiled. Don't worry, though, it won't stick!
This is a very satisfying (and light!) vegetarian lunch that is sure to make even meat eaters happy.
Grilled Halloumi & Quinoa Salad
adapted from The Kitchn
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 regular cucumber, peeled and diced (we forgot this)
1 tomato, diced
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 cup water
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp chopped mint
3 cups lettuce leaves, arugula, or other salad greens
8 ounces halloumi cheese, cut into 8 slices
In a medium bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, sugar, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a dash of salt and pepper. Add cucumber, tomato, and scallion and toss to combine. Cover and let stand.
Place quinoa and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer over low heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes, fluff with a fork and allow to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil and 2 tsp lemon juice. Add cooled quinoa, parsley, mint, lettuce, and cucumber/tomato mixture (liquid included) to the bowl and toss to coat.
Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium heat (no oil) and grill the halloumi until golden, about two minutes on each side. (Cheese can also be grilled in a panini press.) When done, squeeze a little lemon juice over the cheese.
Arrange quinoa salad on two plates and top with the halloumi. Can make up to a day ahead and refrigerate. For best texture, add the lettuce and grill the halloumi just before serving.