I love cooking vegetables on the barbeque and, even though I’m an omnivore, I’m quite happy to stick to vegetarian options when we get the grill out. The tendency (for me at least) is to make the most of the occasion and overeat so vegetable based options seem the way to go since they are usually a bit lighter than a slab of meat. I also love throwing halloumi on the BBQ, it’s texture transforms from tough to soft and pleasently chewy and it’s salty flavour goes so well with charred veggies. It’s worth tracking down good halloumi made with sheep or goat’s cheese which has a much better flavour and texture than the stuff made with cow’s milk but, should you stuggle to find any, the marinating step makes even the mass-produced cheese taste good.
Use any combination of fresh herbs that you like or have to hand. Mint is particularly good with halloumi as it offsets its saltiness and tastes lovely combined with the lime juice marinade. I used a mix of mint, oregano, rosmary and parsley. And of course the vegetables are open to interpretation: these kebabs are equally nice with sweet peppers and tomatoes. I have a slight reservation at calling these kebabs vegetarian since halloumi is often set with rennet; the pack I used stated it was vegetarian but it’s probably a good idea to check. Happy barbqueing!
Marinated halloumi and fennel kebabs
Makes 4 large kebabs
- 250g halloumi
- a handful of fresh herbs: oregano, rosemary, mint, parsley
- 50ml olive oil
- black pepper
- juice of one lime
For the kebabs
- 1 large bulb of fennel
- 1 courgette
Cut the halloumi into bite-size pieces, about 2cm, mix with the chopped herbs, oil, plenty of black pepper and lime juice and marinate for several hours or ideally up to a day.
Soak some wooden skewers in warm water for 20 minutes.
Wash and trim the fennel and cut into chuncks about the same size as the cheese. Bring a small pan of water to the boil and fill a bowl with iced water. Blanch the fennel for 2 minutes then transfer it to the ice water to cool.
Wash the courgette, cut in half lengthways and slice into thick semi-circles.
Thread the courgette, halloumi and fennel on to the skewers. Brush the kebabs with the left over marinade and pop on the barbeque, turning frequently, until golden. Alternately cook them under a hot grill.