This gorgeous dish of Grilled Vegetables and Halloumi with Orzo makes the perfect summertime meal for a weeknight or for a backyard event with friends. Leftovers will make the most fabulous lunches. As always, I highly recommend you read the post for all my tips and guide on grilling.
For the orzo
450g(about 3 cups) orzo pastaor any small shape pasta
1/2cupfresh chopped herbs such as basil, oregano, or thyme for serving
For the dressing
1small shallotfinely diced
1garlic clove minced
2tablespoonswhite wine vinegar
3tablespoonsgrainy dijon mustard
1tablespoon maple syrup or honey
1lemon, zested and juiced
1/3 cup extra-vigin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1poundsweet or hot Italian chicken sausage (optional) or plant-based sausage
Extra-virgin olive oilor cooking spray
250gHalloumi cheesesliced 1/2-inch thick
8ouncescherry tomatoespreferably still on the vine
2 to 3bell peppersquartered, stems and seeds removed
2 to 3zucchini and/or summer squashsliced diagonally 1/4-inch thick
1medium eggplantsliced diagonally 1/4-inch thick
8ouncescremini mushroomsstems removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook the orzo in large pot of salted boiling water according to the instructions on the package. Drain. Rinse under cold running water and drain again. Transfer to a bowl and toss with 1/3 of the dressing. Set aside.
Make the dressing by combining the shallot, garlic, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, lemon zest and juice in a glass jar or bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season with a 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper each, and set aside.
Preheat the grill to medium-high. Grill the sausages, if using, turning frequently, until browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, spray, or brush, the halloumi and vegetables with olive oil and season with black pepper, to taste.
Cook the halloumi and cherry tomatoes first. Place directly on the grate, cover the grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes without disturbing. Flip and cook another 2 minutes or until grill marks appear. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Grill the rest of vegetables directly on the grill (use a basket for small vegetables). Cover the grill and cook undisturbed for 3 to 4 minutes (or 2 to 3 minutes longer for heartier vegetables). Flip and cook another 3 to 4 minutes or until lightly charred and tender. Transfer the veggies to a large cutting board as they cook, season with salt to taste, and allow to cool slightly.
Once the vegetables have cooled, cut the sausage (if using), eggplant, and mushrooms into 2-inch pieces leaving the rest of the veggies and halloumi cheese intact.
Place the orzo on a large platter and top with the grilled vegetables, sausage (if using), and halloumi cheese. Drizzle everything with a little more dressing, garnish generously with fresh chopped herbs and serve.
Alternatively, serve this dish salad-style: Chop all the grilled veggies, sausage (if using), and halloumi cheese into 2-inch pieces and place in a large serving bowl. Add the orzo, a little more dressing, and fresh chopped herbs and toss gently to combine.
MAKE AHEAD AND STOREThis recipe for grilled vegetable, halloumi, sausage and orzo is a great dish to make ahead of time or bring to a party as it holds very well and tastes even better with time: as it sits, the orzo, vegetables, and cheese soak up the flavours of the dressing.Make ahead: Grill all the veggies and cheese. Once cooled, store in a large, or a few medium-sized, container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Cook the orzo, rinse with cold water and drain, drizzle with a little olive oil and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Make the dressing and store covered with a tight lid for up to 5 easy in the refrigerator.When ready to use, follow recipe instructions for assembling the dish.To store: This dish will last in the fridge for four to five days. Serve cold or reheat gently in a microwave or in a skillet on the stovetop. making it great for meal prep.
Grilled Vegetables and Halloumi with Orzo by Sandra Valvassori at sandravalvassori.com