Grilled Greek Antipasti Salad with Halloumi Cheese
Adapted from chow.com recipe by Aida Mollenkamp
In this take on a Greek salad, everything gets charred on the grill and served warm, with a drizzling of Oregano Marinade (recipe below). We like it best when all the elements are chopped up and tossed with the dressing, so each bite is loaded with cheese, veggies, and herbs. (For those who need/want more “traditional” protein, you can substitute chicken for the Halloumi cheese or use both.)
What to buy: Halloumi is a Cypriot cheese, sold in blocks in many specialty grocery stores(The Lady sells Halloumi on the cheese island). It has a high melting point, making it perfect for grilling. Kalamatas are a Greek variety of black olive, found in most grocery stores. Peppadews are a sweet, spicy pepper from South Africa and are available at most specialty grocers. (Kalamatas, Baby Artichoke Hearts and Peppadews are sold on The Lady’s antipasti/olive bar.)
Special equipment: Use wooden or metal skewers to make the kebabs.
Game plan: If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in warm water for 30 minutes beforehand, so they don’t burn on the grill.
- 6 medium Roma tomatoes
- 1 Pound Halloumi cheese (or 1 pound boneless chicken pieces or half and half)
- 1 medium red onion
- 24 Large Button Mushrooms
- 2 cup Oregano Marinade (recipe below)
- 12 skewers
- 6 medium hearts of romaine, halved lengthwise
- Olive oil
- 18 to 24 kalamata olives (about 1/4 pound)
- 12 Peppadews
- 12 Marinated Baby Artichoke Hearts
- Quarter tomatoes, cut cheese into 24 cubes, and slice onion lengthwise into six wedges and combine everything in a large bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, cover with 1/2 cup of marinade, and gently toss until everything is evenly coated.
- On a skewer, thread 1 tomato quarter, 1 Halloumi cube, 1 onion wedge, 1 Mushroom; repeat. Repeat to make 12 skewers. Place the skewers in a large, shallow dish, pour any marinade in the bowl over top, cover, and refrigerate. Allow to marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
- Preheat grill to medium heat when ready to rock n roll.
- When the grill is heated, remove the kebabs from the marinade, allowing any excess to drip away before placing them on the grill. Cook, turning kebabs every 3 to 4 minutes, until vegetables are tender and charred and cheese is soft; total cooking time will be about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, brush romaine with olive oil, season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and set aside in a cool place until ready to grill.
- About 3 minutes before the kebabs are finished, place romaine, cut side down, on the grill and cook until slightly wilted and charred on the cut side, about 3 minutes.
- To serve, transfer grilled romaine, kebabs, and olives, peppadews and baby artichoke hearts to a large serving platter. (If desired, remove cheese and vegetables from the skewers and chop all salad ingredients.) Drizzle a few tablespoons of the remaining 1/2 cup marinade over the salad, passing extra on the side. (The Lady and The Man prefer to chop everything into a “chopped salad”.)
By Aida Mollenkamp
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 2 medium lemons)
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup packed fresh oregano (leaves and tender stems only)
- 1/4 cup packed fresh thyme leaves
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process on high until mixture is smooth and uniform, about 1 minute. Refrigerate until ready to use.