Can you believe the weather we’ve been having the past few days?! If you’re not in the UK, just know that it’s been sunny, it’s been hot, it even went a whole day without raining. Very exciting for us Brits. Even more exciting was that the warm weather fell on a weekend! So often our sunshine is wasted on workdays, but when the stars align and it’s warm on a weekend, it can only mean one thing: it’s BBQ time!
I imagine around 99% of the country were BBQing yesterday. We’re so used to cloudy, dull weather here that as soon as the sun shines, we’re all there in our skimpy summer clothes, sipping beer in the sunshine and refusing to turn away from the sun for a single second (it has a habit of disappearing when you’re not looking).
People often think it’s weird that I get so excited about BBQs since I’m a vegetarian, but there’s so much more to a BBQ than just meat! Halloumi, veggie burgers and sausages, salads galore, not to mention a beer for sipping – how could anyone turn their nose up at that?
Since next week is the Vegetarian Society’s National Vegetarian Week (woop!), Cranks challenged me to come up with a tasty vegetarian BBQ recipe, and it just so happened that the timing worked out perfectly with this lovely weather. So, to celebrate my love for BBQs, I bring you this balsamic halloumi, served in a pitta with a quick and easy carrot slaw.
The balsamic halloumi is simply marinaded and cooked right on the BBQ grill. If the weather’s not so great when you come to make this, you can cook it in a frying pan instead, just see here for instructions. Cooking it on the BBQ is preferable though, if you can – those crispy char lines are the best bit!
The crunchy and creamy carrot slaw was perfect on top but would be great served on its own as well, at the side of any other BBQ dish. It’s easy to make and will keep well in the fridge for a few days, so if you have any leftovers, pop it in a lunchbox and take it to work to remind yourself of happier times while you’re sitting at your desk.
(most depressing sentence ever, sorry)
I know a lot of you guys are vegetarian already, but if not, I’d really encourage you to give it a go next week for National Vegetarian Week! Hopefully you’ll find plenty of inspiration here on Amuse Your Bouche, and there are also lots of recipes over on the Cranks site too. Vegetarian food is awesome.
Balsamic halloumi pittas with carrot slaw
For the carrot slaw:
- 3 carrots, grated
- 3 spring onions, chopped
- Small bunch basil, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Greek yogurt
- Black pepper
For the balsamic halloumi:
- 200 g halloumi cheese (enough for 4 good slices)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Black pepper
- 2 pitta breads, lightly toasted
- Salad of your choice - I used lettuce and tomato
- Add all the ingredients for the carrot slaw to a bowl, and mix well. Leave in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Cut the halloumi into 4 slices. Mix together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a dish with a pinch of black pepper, and add the halloumi slices. Make sure each slice is well coated, and leave to marinate until ready to cook (preferably at least 10 minutes)
- Cook the halloumi on a well-oiled BBQ grill for a couple of minutes each side, until soft and browned. Alternatively, cook it in a frying pan using this method.
- Serve the grilled halloumi and carrot slaw in a couple of pitta breads, with extra salad if desired (I used lettuce and sliced tomato). You'll probably have some carrot slaw left over - it's great served with other things too!