A Halloumi of a Time

Great as a light, low carb meal or side dish.

City Style and Living Magazine recipes halloumi bowl for summer
/ Nicole Franzen

Great as a light, low carb meal or side dish.

1. Marinate the halloumi
2. Cook the lentils
3. Cook the tomatoes
4. Make the salad
5. Grill the halloumi
6. Assemble the bowls

Lemony grilled halloumi
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
8 oz [230 g] halloumi cheese (brined semihard Cypriot cheese, aka grilling cheese)

Herbed lentils
1 cup [200 g] brown lentils, rinsed
1 small red onion, diced
1 cup [20 g] lightly packed fresh herb leaves, chopped (flat-leaf parsley, cilantro or dill, and a bit of mint and thyme is a nice mix)
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Burst tomatoes
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 pt [300 g] cherry or grape tomatoes

Shaved zucchini salad
1 zucchini
1 lemon
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Leaves from 2 to 3 fresh mint sprigs, chopped (optional)

FOR THE HALLOUMI: In a bowl large enough to hold the halloumi, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice. Add the halloumi and let sit for about 30 minutes.

Prepare a fire in a charcoal or gas grill for direct-heat cooking over medium heat. (You should be able to hold your hand about 1 in [2.5 cm] above the cooking grate for 4 to 5 seconds before you must pull it away.)

FOR THE LENTILS: While the cheese marinates, put the lentils in a saucepan and add water to cover. Place over high heat, bring to a boil, lower the heat to maintain a steady simmer, and cook until the lentils are al dente (just barely tender to the bite with a bit of resistance in the center); start testing after 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, add enough salt to the water until it tastes salty, and let sit until the lentils are fully tender, about 10 minutes.

While the lentils are sitting, in a medium bowl, combine the onion and herbs. Drain the lentils, add them, still hot, to the bowl, and toss to combine. Drizzle with the olive oil, toss to coat, and season with black pepper. Cover and set aside to keep warm, or let cool off and serve at room temperature.

FOR THE TOMATOES: In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the tomatoes and cook, shaking the pan now and again, until the tomatoes “burst” and release their juices into the oil, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt. Set aside.

FOR THE SALAD: Trim off the ends of the zucchini, then cut in half lengthwise. Cut each half lengthwise into paper-thin, even slices (a mandoline is handy here, but a sharp knife and a steady hand work just as well). Put the slices in a medium bowl. Using a fine-rasp Microplane grater or a zester and holding the lemon over the zucchini, zest half of the lemon. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice from half of the lemon over the zucchini. Drizzle the zucchini with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat the zucchini evenly. Taste a piece of zucchini and add more lemon juice or salt if you like. Sprinkle with the mint, if desired.

TO GRILL THE HALLOUMI: Oil the cooking grate. Lift the cheese out of the marinade, set it on the grate directly over the fire, and cook until browned on the first side, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the halloumi and brown on the second side, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer the halloumi to a cutting board and cut into 8 or 12 even slices.

TO ASSEMBLE: Divide the lentils among four bowls. Arrange the halloumi, tomatoes, and zucchini salad in three separate and equal sections on top of the lentils and serve.

MAKE IT EASY: Instead of cooking cherry tomatoes in a frying pan on the stove top, put 4 medium tomatoes on the cooking grate alongside the halloumi and leave them until they soften, about 8 minutes. Or skip firing up the grill and use a frying pan over medium-high on the stove top for grilling the cheese.

Reprinted from Bowls! Recipes and Inspirations for Healthful One-Dish Meals by Molly Watson (Chronicle Books). Photographs by Nicole Franzen.

This original recipe first appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.

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