GRILLED HALLOUMI SALAD

A real vegetarian crowd pleaser, that will leave the most die-hard carnivore fighting over the last mouthfuls. Halloumi cooks beautifully on the searing grid, as it’s firm enough to hold its shape - charred and crisped a little on the outside and perfectly melting inside. I’ve paired it with some sweet cherry tomatoes, tangy pomegranate molasses, citrusy sumac and herbaceous Za’atar to offset the saltiness of the halloumi.

SERVES:

8

PREPARED IN:

Less than 30 minutes

COOKS IN:

Less than 20 mins

DIFFICULTY:

Not too tricky

INGREDIENTS

2 x 250g Halloumi blocks, thickly sliced

300g cherry tomatoes

12 mild Turkish green chili peppers

3 small yellow onions, peeled, quartered

2 tbsp. olive oil

Dressing:

80g extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, finely minced

½ lemon, juiced

1 tablespoon Pomegranate molasses

1 tablespoon Arabica Za’atar

Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon Wild Sumac

½ teaspoon Urfa Chilli flakes

Sea salt, to taste

METHOD

Egg Set up

Setup the Big Green egg for direct cooking with the cast iron searing grid and then insert the 3-level cooking grid. Target Temperature is 150°C. I got some oak chips from my Pal Mark parr, chief axe at at the London Log Company. Soak a handfull of oak chips for an hour. Half fill the fire box and place it directly on the hot coals, but a small chunk of oak, cherry or apple would be equally delicious.

Place the vegetables and halloumi in a mixing bowl and gently toss in with the olive oil until evenly coated.

Place the onions on the lowest tier, Turkish peppers on second level and tomatoes on the third tier. Close the Egg and leave to cook, turning the onions and peppers every 5 mins until they begin to soften and the edges of the onions begin to catch and char. They should take just under 15 minutes to grill.

While the vegetables are smoking, and beginning to char, combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Transfer the smoked vegetables to the mixing bowl, toss gently and cover to retain the heat whilst you cook off the halloumi. Carefully lift the 3-level cooking tier off the searing grid using an Eggmit BBQ glove and rest in a safe place.

Shut the Egg, and open the top vent for a minute using the daisy wheel to increase the temperature of the egg to 200°C.

Place the halloumi cheese diagonally on to the grid slats and cook for 3-4 mins without moving, until they begin to crisp up. Gently turn the halloumi over using a slotted fish turner. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes and then transfer to the mixing bowl with the smoked vegetables. Gently toss to evenly dress the salad and transfer to a warm serving platter.

Recipe for Big Green Egg  by James Walters, self-taught chef and founder of Arabica.

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