I am always in the mood for pizza. And I mean ALWAYS. Probably seven days a week, if you were to ask me if I wanted pizza for dinner, my answer would be an enthusiastic yes 99% of the time. For reals….
Do you ever eat or make a dish that makes you take pause? Like in a “OMG, this is really, really special” way.
It happens to me all the time. I can feel your eyes rolling. What can I say? I am easily excited by good food. That’s not to say that I am jaded by tons of good food all the time (which is not a terrible problem to have); I just get really into whatever it is I’m making or eating. It’s a true passion….
Well, that is quite a mouthful, isn’t it? Yup, but it’s a delicious one.
Now that Labor Day has come and gone (still in denial), I’m committing myself to full-on fall dishes. Lots of pumpkin, soups, and general coziness is coming your way, folks….
I have a serious problem. OK, it’s not a SERIOUS problem (I’m feeling a touch dramatic today)…but it’s a problem nonetheless.
I cannot stop eating watermelon. For real. I buy, chop up, and consume an entire full-sized watermelon by myself each week. I don’t mean those cute little seedless buggers. No, I have been HOUSING gigantic, big-as-one-of-my-dogs watermelons weekly. I can’t blame it on my husband because he doesn’t even LIKE watermelon. There’s only one culprit in the house.
While my sweet tooth has definitely been more prominent than ever before during my pregnancy, I don’t know if I can fully blame this one on being knocked up since I’ve always been a huge fan of watermelon in the summer. But my addiction has gotten out of control. Once I start eating it, I cannot get enough of its juicy, refreshing sweetness. I basically store my cut up watermelon in a trough-sized plastic container, and I pull it out whenever the craving hits, and just slurp away on its goodness directly over said trough. So attractive. Hah.
In an effort to keep myself from shoveling watermelon into my face by the trough-full, I made this salad with SOME watermelon and lots of other components. And then promptly had a bowl of watermelon for dessert. Sigh. I guess there are worse things I could be eating, right?
Anyway. Have you guys tried halloumi cheese yet? I am somewhat new to its incredible briny, salty flavor…and grilling it was probably the best thing I could have done. Briny, salty, AND smoky. So yum. It has a strong flavor, so pairing it with lighter ingredients like watermelon and arugula works wonders. I serve it with grilled sourdough bread on the side…because…well…just because. Carbs make everything better.
Carbs and watermelon, that is.
Grilled Halloumi & Watermelon Salad with Basil-Mint Pesto (makes 4 servings)
For the Pesto:
½ cup fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh mint
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
For the Salad:
8 oz halloumi cheese, cut into 1-inch thick slices
8 slices of watermelon, rind removed
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Grilled bread slices
1. For the Pesto: Pulse the basil, mint, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor until finely chopped and well blended. Stream in the olive oil and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Stir in the parmesan cheese.
2. Heat the grill to medium-high and oil the grates. Toss the cheese in a little bit of the pesto and place on the hot grill. Grill for about 1 minute per side, until charred and beginning to melt.
3. Arrange the baby arugula on a large platter and top with the sliced watermelon and grilled cheese. Garnish with the pesto, pine nuts, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Serve immediately with slices of grilled bread on the side.
Adapted from here.