Meatless Monday: Summer’s Bounty

I went to the Cary Downtown Farmers Market the morning of July 4th, and was delighted with what I found. It was the first of the local organic-ish corn, peaches, and watermelon. The Market is bursting with fruits and vegetables right now.

We’ve been grilling and eating outside a lot lately, so that’s tonight’s Meatless Monday. I tried something I’ve never made before, at least in this vegetarian format. I made a very American vegetarian shish kabob featuring whatever vegetables I found at the market that would fit on a stick.

The secret to making it an actual entree, though, at least with my family? In addition to the vegetables, the protein I added was Halloumi cheese.

This is a cheese used in Greek, Mediterranean. and Middle Eastern cooking. It is made of sheep’s milk, and tastes similar to feta. However, the great thing is that this cheese doesn’t melt. It can even stand up to the grill!

So I threaded everything onto wooden skewers, and ended up with another rainbow meal!

I had red and orange cherry tomatoes, green and yellow squash, orange and yellow peppers, and a purple onion, along with hunks of the cheese. I stuck a blueberry on the end so we would have all the colors, but they didn’t make through the grilling, honestly.

Here they are, all laid out on the grill:

So here’s True Confessions #1. A number of the hunks of cheese split in half as they cooked and fell off the skewer. But fortunately they were big enough not to fall through the grid, so I just let them cook on their own. They ended up forming more of a crunchy crust that the ones on the sticks did:

Then there is True Confession #2. I was planning to serve them on flatbread with sauce, and I THOUGHT I bought flatbread when I was at the story, but then when I unpacked things…no flatbread. Oh well. So I ate mine in a tortilla, which is lower carbs anyway so that works, and my son ate his off his skewer (my husband is down at his boat today).

Still, it was delicious. The cherry tomatoes were a little overcooked by the time the cheese, squash, peppers, and onions were done. But the vegetables were sweet and tender without being burnt, but with some tasty char on the edges, and the cheese was warm and salty and sometimes crunchy, which made a great contrast with the vegetables. Then I had a peach and my son had watermelon for dessert. I forgot I was going to serve the corn tonight and had it for dinner last night (I guess that’s True Confessions #3) –and it was SO GOOD! But that’s OK because we didn’t need it tonight. The skewers were more filling than I had expected.

I think in the future, I would just cut the block of cheese in half depth wise, if you know what I mean, and grill both pieces whole, then cut them in cubes after the grilling is done and add them to the skewers or the the flatbread/tortilla/whatever. I had some issues with the mechanics, but the tastes were great.

This is the easiest time of the year to go Meatless on Mondays because there are so much wonderful produce right now. I hope you’ll give it a try!

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