Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Grilled Romaine and Halloumi Cheese with Mint Vinaigrette

This recipe wins the award for being the most interesting recipe that Alex and I have made this month.  If we had both an outdoor space to entertain (it could be a rooftop or a backyard - I'm not picky) and a grill, I would love to serve this to friends and family at a backyard BBQ of sorts.  I say "of sorts" because I'm not planning on serving hamburgers, hot dogs and pasta salad here.  I'm talking a backyard get together with fun (and tasty) food.  Anyway, I thought the dish was different enough to be a lot of fun, but not labor-intensive.  It also was familiar enough that I think it would appeal to both picky eaters and adventurous ones.  And it was really tasty.  I love halloumi - it is a salty, firm little cheese that fries or grills up really well.  There is a Druze restaurant near my apartment that makes a wonderful little salad with fried cubes of Halloumi.  They are essentially the best croutons ever.  The only problem is that as the cheese cools it hardens back up and gets a little gummy.  So you are going to want to eat this salad fairly quickly.  But if you take that into account and eat quickly, you will thoroughly enjoy the salad.  The grilled onions are nice and sweet and the grilled romaine is delicious.  The combination of the sweetness of the onions, the zesty dressing and the freshness of the mint worked brilliantly together.

Recipe after the jump!

Grilled Romaine and Halloumi Cheese with Mint Vinaigrette
May 2009

6 tbsp evoo
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint, divided
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 hearts of romaine, quartered lengthwise
1 large red onion, cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick rounds
1 8.8-ounce package Halloumi cheese, cut crosswise into 8 slices
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Whisk oil, vinegar, 1 tablespoon mint, mustard, and garlic in small bowl; season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Brush lettuce and onion slices with dressing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill onion slices until charred in spots and softened, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to platter; separate rings. Grill lettuce until charred in spots and slightly wilted, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer 2 wedges to each of 4 plates. Grill Halloumi until charred in spots and softened, about 2 minutes per side, depending on brand used.

Scatter onion rings over lettuce. Divide Halloumi among plates. Drizzle with additional dressing, sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon mint, and serve immediately.

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