The development of this recipe illustrates perfectly how quickly the seasons can change at this time of year: when I cooked it, not quite a week ago, we were still in the midst of an Indian summer; hell, I was still eating supper outside. Now, I sit here to write it on a typical rainy Saturday morning in October. Who knows what it will be like when I get around to actually posting it in a couple of days. The first frost of the year, perhaps? Either way, I’m not packing up any of my wardrobe until things get a little clearer around here.
So this is ‘late summer’ grilled vegetables. Or is it? I don’t know any more.
The idea of grilling some vegetables and serving them with halloumi is hardly new or innovative, and you might question why I feel it needs an entire blog post devoted to it. You would probably be right, everybody knows how to use a grill, after all, but it seems a shame not to write about something I make so often. It’s a meal I always go back to when I need some nutrients after living on pizza, prosecco and Pret sandwiches for a few days when things get busy in other areas of my life. I make it work all year round by simply changing the vegetables for whatever is in season, or whatever I happen to have in the fridge.
The dressing, a fairly standard roll-call of salad dressing ingredients, remains largely the same; and I almost always eat this with halloumi, but a steamed asparagus in spring works just as well as some roasted pumpkin in winter. A proper charcoal barbecue or grill, of course, makes this wonderful. If you’re not lucky enough to have a garden, a griddle pan suffices just fine. I’m not going to pretend to impart some wisdom upon you here on how to do this, because you know already. I’m just going to give you two pieces of advice: use good halloumi, and don’t be stingy with the basil.
Late Summer Grilled Vegetables with Halloumi
1 red onion, cut into wedges
2 courgettes, thinly sliced
2 fennel bulbs, sliced
2 carrots, sliced into ribbons
250g halloumi, sliced
For the dressing:
1 garlic clove, crushed with a little sea salt
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp finely chopped basil
Lightly brush all of the vegetables, except the carrots, with olive oil and grill on a griddle pan, open grill or barbecue until tender, then transfer to a large bowl. Toss in the carrots. Grill the halloumi until charred.
Make the dressing by whisking all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Toss the dressing through the vegetables.
Transfer the vegetables to a serving plate and top with slices of grilled halloumi.
Adapted from a recipe by Good Housekeeping.
Other salads on More than Just Toast:
Roasted butternut squash and chickpea salad with tahini-lemon dressing
Vietnamese prawn noodle salad