Grilled Vegetables with Halloumi and Coriander Pesto (Video)
Pesto!! Everyone loves pesto!!
… But what exactly is the meaning of pesto?
There is a common misunderstanding as to what it really is. Many believe it is solely the classic Pesto Genovese, popularised around the world consisting of Italian basil crushed with pine nuts, garlic and olive oil served with pasta. Yes, partially true – this is certainly a type of pesto. In fact, the word pesto actually is much more generic coming from the Italian verb “pestare” which means: to crush with a pestle. Hence, any combination of aromatic herbs that have been crushed with the pestle can be called pesto.
This recipe, which brings an Eastern Mediterranean twist, is so easy to execute and incredibly scrumptious while at the same time delivering the perfect accompanying platter for any summer barbeque. The use of coriander and halloumi cheese add another layer of texture, depth and flavour. Adding the pomegranate seeds not only provide a boost of anti-oxidants but also complements the saltiness of the pesto providing that perfect balance.
I highly recommend you experiment adding a grain to the vegetables, such as cuscus, quinoa, etc. for a more substantial platter when cooking for a crowd.
Don’t forget to share your dishes with me.
For the coriander pesto:
1 bunch coriander
1 minced garlic clove
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons pine-nuts
For the vegetables:
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
1 medium aubergine
5 small zucchini
1 white onion
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1 tablespoon pine-nuts
Fresh coriander and mint leaves.
* Chop the coriander leaves and place them in a food processor along with the garlic, salt, olive oil and pine-nuts then pulse to a smooth paste.
* Slice the peppers, aubergine, zucchini and the onion thinly as seen in the video.
* Place into a bowl and toss with olive oil.
* Preheat the griddle and coat it with some olive oil and once the griddle is hot place the vegetables and grill on both sides until they are cooked and have nice grill marks. Set aside to cool.
* Pat dry the halloumi cheese and slice to 1cm in thickness, place on an oiled griddle and grill on both sides. It may stick slightly but don’t worry, it is the nature of cheese. You could alternatively use a flat griddle.
* Toss the grilled vegetables with the pesto, place on the serving platter and top with the cheese.
* Scatter the pomegranate seeds on top alongside with the pine nuts and the fresh coriander and mint.
* Serve cool at room temperature or cold.
* You can use any variety of vegetables and slice then in any way you prefer.
* For easier entertaining you can grill the vegetables a day ahead and then toss with the pesto and grilled cheese just before serving.
* You can grill on the barbeque as well.
* For a vegan option grill tofu on the griddle and follow the rest of the instructions.
* The pesto can store safely in the fridge for up to 1 week, just make sure it has a layer of olive oil on the surface.
Per Serving : 183 Calories; 15g Fat (67.1% calories from fat); 3g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 29mg Sodium.