Vegetarian Skewers — Or Not!
I love grilled veggies all summer long – but occasionally I will add halloumi cheese to the grill too, and that is a game changer!
There is such pleasure to threading a rainbow of veggies onto skewers, brushing with a flavorful vinaigrette, grilling till they are just a little charred and serving them as a side dish to any meal. Recently I have started adding halloumi – a cheese from Cyprus that is salty and semi-soft but that transforms into complete deliciousness once pan fried or grilled.
I love these skewers as a vegetarian dinner. The halloumi provides a nice protein boost and I often serve it with warm pita bread and Tzatziki made with protein rich Greek yogurt. But, the halloumi in this recipe is the star, and you’ll find that even the meat-eaters at your dinner will devour these skewers.
By the way, this marinade is fabulous on chicken too, feel free to make an extra batch of the vinaigrette to soak chicken for 1-8 hours before grilling (See Chef Tip in recipe)
So BE BRAVE and try this unusual cheese right off the grill – it really tastes best still warm and oozy so cook it up right before serving to really enjoy it.
Your summer veggies just got even better!
Halloumi & Veggie Skewers
Vinaigrette (See Chef Tip)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup O&V Unflavored EVOO *
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup fresh herbs, chopped (Greek Basil, Oregano, Lemon Thyme) or 1 teaspoon dried herbs
1 lb Halloumi, cut into one- inch cubes
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium green zucchini
1 medium red onion
1 – 1 ½ orange bell pepper
8 oz cremini mushrooms
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
Prepare all the vegetables – slice the squash and zucchini in ¼ inch rounds (or shave with a peeler if you prefer), cut the onion and pepper into one-inch pieces, remove the stems from the mushrooms.
In a small bowl make the vinaigrette by mixing together the lemon juice, chili flakes, minced garlic, salt, pepper and chopped herbs. Then slowly drizzle in the EVOO whisking well to form an emulsion.
Drizzle ¾ of the vinaigrette over the vegetables and cheese and let sit for 20 minutes. Thread the vegetables and cheese onto skewers. Try alternating the vegetables on the skewers for maximum visual appeal. Be sure to leave a little space between them to allow the heat to circulate and evenly cook everything. (See Chef Tip below)
Preheat the grill to medium high, grease the grates, and place the skewers over direct heat and grill for 3-5 minutes per side until the cheese and onions are charred and the zucchini and squash have softened.
Remove from heat and serve immediately drizzled with the reserved vinaigrette, warm pita bread and tzatziki sauce.
Active Time: 25 minutes. Total Time: 45 minutes
This vinaigrette is my go-to marinade for vegetables (as in this recipe) but also for grilled chicken. Use this recipe to marinate 2 lbs of chicken for a minimum of 8 hours or overnight and grill. Discard any remaining marinade.
When grilling vegetables (and in this recipe, halloumi) on skewers, don’t pack the vegetables too close together. The heat needs to circulate to properly char and cook the veggies and cheese. Ideally, cook your tomatoes on a separate skewer as they have a much shorter cooking time, and then add them to the tips of your veggie skewers, or serve them separately.
* A nice Unflavored EVOO adds great olive flavor to the vinaigrette, but you can also use our Tuscan Herb EVOO, or even our Roasted Garlic grape seed oil for added flavor to your veggies or chicken.
Categories: Appetizers, Snacks & Sides, Vegetarian, Vegan Option, Gluten Free, Pita Bread, Tzatziki, Best Marinade, Chicken Marinade, Halloumi, Grilling Cheese, Unflavored EVOO, Veggie Skewers, Grilling Cheese, Vegetarian BBQ Dish, Tuscan Herb Oil, Roasted Garlic Oil, Grilling Vegetables