Oh hi, and happy second day of summer! I hope your days are already full of warm sunshine, deep blue skies and sleeping in a bit later than usual 🙂 I ran into my old friends Green Beans and Halloumi the other day when I was at Whole Foods, and we decided to have a lovely summer salad for dinner.
Have you ever had grilled Halloumi? If you’re not quite sure what I’m talking about, I’ll explain, because I remember the first time I ever saw it on a menu and thought, WT (heck) and I just jumped in and tried it. I ordered it in a restaurant and honestly, I thought maybe it was a type of fish… I didn’t want to appear un-foodie-like, so I just went with it, and pretended I’ve eaten it all of my life. Turns out it’s cheese. Greek cheese, which is just kind of cool, ’cause, Greece. And it’s got this crazy-firm texture, so it doesn’t really melt when you grill it. It just gets a lovely, deep, smokey, salty flavor and and it’s so totally divine that you just want one more piece. Please run right out the the cheese department of your nearest slightly upscale grocery store and try it. You will be pleasantly surprised.
Oh, and green beans. They’re so hard to judge. Nothing worse than tough and rubbery green beans, so take advantage of summer beans, and pick the ones that are a bit thinner and nice and crisp looking, and just enjoy them while you can.
I’m still weeding through my recipe clipping files, and this Green Bean and Tomato Salad with Grilled Halloumi was inspired by a recipe from Food & Wine. It’s really quick and easy, and the lemon-buttermilk dressing that tops it is so lovely, light and summery. With the grilled Halloumi and a bit of crumbled bacon if you dare, this really is a meal-salad.
Enjoy the long, lazy days of summer, and stay out of the kitchen by eating more fresh and colorful salads! You’ll glow so much from healthy stuff, you won’t even need a suntan. If it’s tomato season where you are too, please use really ripe tomato slices. Heirloom would be so gorgeous, don’t you think?
- 1 pound very fresh green beans any tough ends trimmed off
- 4 ounces of Halloumi cheese sliced into 1/2 inch thick slices
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 1/4 cup very thinly sliced sweet onion
- 4 slices nitrate-free bacon cooked crisp and crumbled
- 1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper to taste do not over salt because the cheese and bacon are already salty
Fill a medium size pot with about 1-inch of water, and add the green beans. Cover and let steam for about 3-4 minutes, or just until beans are tender. Do not overcook. Drain beans and immediately rinse with cold water, or submerge them in ice water so they retain their bright color.
Set the green beans aside to cool.
Heat the grill to high heat, and spray with cooking spray or lightly oil the grate.
Place the slices of halloumi cheese on the hot grill, close the lid, and let the cheese grill without touching it. Check for grill marks after 2-3 minutes and flip the slices. Grill for another 2-3 minutes on the second side. Remove cheese from the grill, and let cool.
When it is cool enough to handle, slice the cheese into cubes (about 1-inch square)
Place the green beans, tomatoes, sliced onion, and halloumi in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine..
To make dressing, combine all ingredients in a small jar or measuring cup and whisk well.
Drizzle dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Sprinkle bacon over the top.
Do you cook much in the summer, or do you prefer salads? Or does everyone just scrounge and fend for themselves?