Have you ever tried Haloumi cheese? Haloumi cheese, which originated in Cyprus, is made with a mixture of Sheep and Goats’ milk (sometimes with cow’s milk added), and is unripened and brined. It is a delicious, salty, slightly rubbery cheese that doesn’t melt, so it’s not only a great vegetarian choice, it’s a perfect choice for grilling. Haloumi is perfect on kebabs with vegetables, and since the cheese requires no advance preparation, is perfect for a quick 30-minute-or-less weeknight meal. Although the following Haloumi and Vegetable Kabobs are best grilled over a charcoal or gas grill, they can be grilled in less time on a George-Foreman-type grill on the kitchen counter when there’s no time to heat an outdoor grill. The vegetables used can be varied as to whatever is in the garden or refrigerator, and chunks of marinated chicken, beef, or fish can also be added for those who insist on it.
Ideally, the vegetables should be blanched for a minute in boiling, salted water before grilling (the salt helps them keep their color), and then marinated for a few minutes in Italian salad dressing – you can make your own or use bottled. This can be done the night before or hours ahead, although it takes only a few minutes to cut the vegetables in big chunks, so it can be done just before grilling. The cheese is simply brushed with the dressing before grilling to prevent sticking (make sure the dressing is not fat-free since it is the oil in the dressing that prevents sticking).
For a full meal, pair these kebabs with Middle Eastern Rice Pilaf (start it before preparing the kabobs - that way, everything will be ready at once). Freshly baked pita bread is a great with this meal, too, if it’s available. Haloumi cheese is becoming quite trendy, so it’s available at many larger grocery stores; it’s also available at most Greek and Middle Eastern markets.
1/2 pound haloumi cheese
1 pound small zucchinis, cut into 1" chunks
12 large fresh mushrooms
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1" squares
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1" squares
1 small onion, cut into 1" squares
1/2 cup Italian salad dressing, homemade or bottled - your favorite
- Heat a gas or charcoal grill (or George-Foreman-type grill if time is at a premium).
- Cut the haloumi cheese into 1" chunks; set aside.
- Place the vegetables in a large pot of boiling salted water (1 tablespoon salt to 10 cups water).
- Bring back to a boil and boil 1 minute; drain immediately, transfer to a boll, and toss with the dressing. Let sit a few minutes to marinate.
- Thread the vegetables and cheese on long metal skewers or long bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water.
- Brush with Italian Dressing, making sure to cover the cheese with dressing so it doesn't stick to the grill.
- Grill for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the vegetables are cooked through.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 383 Calories from Fat 262
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 68% Protein 16% Carb. 16%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 29 g
Saturated Fat 12 g
Cholesterol 39 mg
Sodium 811 mg
Total Carbohydrate 15 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 15 g
Vitamin A 32% Vitamin C 108% Calcium 0% Iron 7%