Makes:4 servings as a main course, 6 to 8 servings as a side dish
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.
15 (12-inch) wooden or metal skewers (soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes to avoid burning on the grill)
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable or olive oil, for oiling the grill
For the sauce:
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.