Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Grilled Halloumi Wraps

grilled halloumi wrap

This sandwich reminds me of the Italian sandwiches I ate growing up in Pittsburgh - hoagies, heroes, subs, whatever you call them - but with a Greek/Middle Eastern twist. Instead of cold cuts, this healthy vegetarian sandwich has wonderful, briny Halloumi cheese.  Have you tried Halloumi before? It's a cheese from Cyprus that has a high melting point which makes it perfect for grilling.  It gets nice and crispy on the outside and slightly soft on the inside. I first became addicted to Halloumi last year when making a chargrilled vegetable salad and now seek out recipes that feature it. Which is why I plucked this recipe from my library. Aside from Halloumi  - and lettuce, tomato and onion  -  these wraps have fiery pickled peppers and fluffy, fresh pitas.

We ate these sandwiches for dinner {sandwiches for dinner is a never here, but we did it}. I am sure we were a sight for sore eyes as the wraps were a little messy and so delicious that I may recall vaguely extolling its virtues with my mouth full. Although I am always more eager to try new recipes than to revisit the old, I really cannot wait to prepare these wraps again.

I am going to file this recipe under "healthy dude food", which in my house is an oxymoron. The recipe comes from Dr. Weil {*} yet my husband said it would be the perfect dish for tailgating or even the Superbowl. Step aside, nachos and chicken wings!  Grilled Halloumi rules.

Grilled Halloumi Wraps

for the pickled peppers:
1 c red wine vinegar
1 T + 1/2 t sugar
1 t salt
16 sprigs of thyme
2 sprigs of oregano
1 t fennel seeds
6 oz mixed hot peppers, seeded and diced {I used a mix of jalapeno, serrano and mini hot banana peppers}
for the wraps:
16 oz halloumi cheese, sliced crosswise into thick slices {Whole Foods}
4 fresh pitas {such as Turlock whole grain pitas from {Whole Foods}
1small sweet yellow onion, diced
1 small vine ripened tomato, seeded and diced
1 heart of romaine lettuce head, sliced
2 T olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, thyme, oregano and fennel seeds. Place over medium heat and cook until the salt and sugar dissolve. Reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes.

Place the peppers in a bowl and pour the pickling liquid through a strainer over the peppers. Place the pickled peppers in the refrigerator to cool. When cool, place them in an airtight container until ready to use.

Preheat a grill pan over high heat or heat your electric indoor grill. Grill the cheese on each side until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer the cheese to a plate.

Heat the pitas slightly in the microwave and arrange them on a work surface. Place the grilled halloumi, equally divided, in the center of each pita.  Using a slotted spoon, top with desired amount of pickled peppers. In a bowl, toss desired amount of lettuce, onion and tomato with 2 T olive oil, 1 T pickling juice and freshly ground black pepper. Top each pita with the salad mixture.

To serve, fold each pita in half and wrap the bottom with parchment paper, sealing off the ends. 

{*} with a few modifications

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Source: Adapted from True Food

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