Grilled Halloumi and Vegetable Kebabs Recipe
Halloumi, a salty cheese from Cyprus in the Mediterranean, has a high melting point, which makes it great for grilling. Toss the cheese, eggplant, mushrooms, and bell peppers with an easy blended tomato-artichoke sauce, then skewer and grill until charred. Serve with a Mediterranean Couscous Salad to round out an alfresco vegetarian meal.
What to buy: We prefer smaller Japanese or Chinese eggplants for this recipe since they taste sweeter and have fewer seeds, but a larger globe eggplant will work well too.
Game plan: If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes beforehand so they don’t burn on the grill.
For the sauce:
- 1 pound Roma tomatoes (about 4 medium tomatoes)
- 1 (14-ounce) jar marinated artichoke halves or quarters, drained
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 2 medium garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the skewers:
- 1 pound eggplant
- 24 small to medium cremini mushrooms
- 2 medium red bell peppers
- 1 pound halloumi cheese
- 15 (12-inch) wooden or metal skewers (soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes to avoid burning on the grill)
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable or olive oil, for oiling the grill
- Core the tomatoes, coarsely chop, and place in a blender.
- Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Transfer 1 cup of the sauce to a small serving bowl and set aside for serving. Divide the remaining sauce between 2 large bowls; set aside.
For the skewers:
- Trim and cut the eggplant into 1-inch chunks and place in one of the large bowls of sauce. Trim the stems from the mushrooms, add them to the bowl with the eggplant, and toss to combine; set aside.
- Core and seed the bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces, and place in the second large bowl of sauce. Cut the cheese into 24 pieces, add to the bowl with the peppers, and toss to combine; set aside.
- Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium high (about 375°F to 425°F). Meanwhile, thread the vegetables and cheese onto the skewers (alternating each ingredient), leaving about 1/8 inch of space between each piece. Place on a baking sheet and season generously with salt and pepper.
- When the grill is ready, rub the grates with a towel dipped in oil. Place the skewers on the grill. Close the grill and cook, turning the skewers every 3 minutes, until all sides are lightly charred on the edges and the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes total. Transfer the skewers to a serving platter and serve with the reserved sauce.