Grilled Halloumi and Quinoa Salad
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 small clove garlic, chopped
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Persian cucumber or 1/2 regular cucumber, peeled and diced
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 cup water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped mint
3 cups lettuce leaves, arugula, or other salad greens
8 ounces halloumi cheese, cut into 8 slices
In a medium bowl, whisk together red wine vinegar, sugar, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a dash of salt and pepper. Add cucumber and scallion and toss to combine. Cover and let stand.
Place quinoa and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer over low heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil and 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Add cooled quinoa, parsley, mint, and lettuce to the bowl and toss to coat.
Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium heat (no oil) and grill the halloumi until golden, about two minutes on each side. (Cheese can also be grilled in a panini press.) When done, squeeze a little lemon juice over the cheese.
Arrange quinoa salad on two plates and top with the halloumi and cucumbers (without liquid).
Can make up to a day ahead and refrigerate. For best texture, add the lettuce and grill the halloumi just before serving.
(Images: Emily Ho)