It’s BBQ season guys! Well sorta. Minor setback is that I don’t actually HAVE a BBQ…condo rules. So, say goodbye to any sort of grill, smoker, or BBQ…all things that result in that wonderful smoky flavor evident by charred grill marks. We have communal BBQS but that’s a whole thing that involves booking a time, getting someone to unlock it, doing a pre inspection, cooking, doing a post inspection, and finally…eating cold food. Oh the perks of living in Condoland.
Now I’m left with two options:
- Line up on the highway for 3.5 hours with all the other Torontonians as we flock to the Muskokas each weekend.
- Use a good cast-iron skillet.
I think I’ll go with option number two. Using an actual BBQ is clearly the optimal choice, but a good cast-iron skillet can do the trick for the most part, especially for this salad of grilled halloumi cheese, peaches, and summer veggies.
If you aren’t familiar with halloumi, well now is the time to add it to your next grocery list. It’s a goat or sheep milk cheese that softens when heated without it actually melting, making it a good choice for grilling or frying. Very similar to squeaky cheese curds.
And I know many of us turn to grilled vegetables but why not add fruit into the mix? With all the farmers markets during the summer months, there’s certainly no shortage of fresh produce to choose from. Peaches are perfect grilling companions, as are nectarines and other stone fruit. They’re quite delicate so leave the skins on and toss with some olive oil to prevent them sticking to the grill.
Grab some other veggies, fresh herbs, and dress with a simple vinaigrette and now you’ve got yourself one very summery side dish to add to your BBQ repertoire.
- 2 peaches, cut into wedges
- 250 grams Halloumi cheese, sliced into ½” pieces
- ¼ small red onion, thinly sliced
- 10 (or so) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 450 grams green beans, ends trimmed
- Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Soak onions in cold water for at least 10 minutes to remove the bite and mellow out the flavour of raw onions.
- Combine all ingredients for the vinaigrette. Stir well to combine and set aside.
- Prepare a bowl of ice-cold water to shock the green beans. Steam beans until tender but still crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Immediately plunge into the water to retain colour and stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
- Heat a greased cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Grill the halloumi and peach wedges, flipping after 3-5 minutes until both sides are nicely browned. Combine the cheese and peaches with the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle vinaigrette and gently toss to combine. Enjoy!