BBQ Halloumi skewers paired with sweet summer veg. The perfect non-meat option for summer barbecues. Free from gluten; eggs; nuts; soy.
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BBQ Halloumi skewers – Summer eating perfected
These BBQ Halloumi skewers are brought to you from the Gluten Free Alchemist Garden. A Mediterranean-inspired delight, the barbecued Halloumi has been paired with the sweetest of summer veg for a perfect eating experience. The vibrant, crisp sun-sweet peppers combined with soft, squirty cherry tomatoes and crunchy red onions are perfectly offset by the saltiness of the slightly chewy Halloumi cheese.
Naturally free from gluten, egg, nuts and soy, they are just what you need for a meat-free #FreeFromBBQ.
But what is Halloumi?
Halloumi is one of my favourite summer-time cheeses… Best known for its ‘squeaky’ texture, it originates in Cyprus. Salty in flavour due to a brining process, it is an un-ripened, semi-hard cheese which is mostly eaten cooked. It notably has a high melting point, which means that it retains its shape when baked, grilled or fried… Although my favourite remains BBQ Halloumi.
Halloumi is made with rennet which can be animal or vegetarian. So if you are veggie, always remember to check the labels carefully. It is not vegan however, as it is made with milk from sheep, goats and occasionally cows.
You can find more information on the nutritional profile of Halloumi on the BBC Good Food website.
why does Halloumi ‘squeak’?
Anyone who has eaten Halloumi will know that it squeaks when you eat it. It’s one of the silly joys it brings. Although that may be a bit of a ‘marmite’ pleasure… some people seem to love it and some people hate it. But why does it squeak?
I searched the internet for answers and found very little information. There was a bit of a weird suggestion that it was down to ‘long protein strands rubbing against the enamel of your teeth’ (thanks for that one Culture Cheese Mag… I’m not convinced). And there’s a slightly more scientific explanation from New Scientist which talks about the ‘stick-slip phenomenon’ :
Apparently, being rubbery cheese, Halloumi ‘deforms’ as your teeth squeeze it. The resistance increases, until it either snaps with the bite or returns to its original shape. And the resistance is audible as a squeek… ‘At the point where the slipping stops, it regains its grip and the process repeats, commonly at a frequency near 1000 hertz’ (New Scientist).
I’ll leave you to make your own judgement…
How to BBQ Halloumi
Halloumi is perfect for the barbecue. It’s at its best and most moreish when the edges are slightly singed and crisp.
The easiest way to BBQ Halloumi is simply to carefully cut the block into 1½ cm/½ inch slices and pop on the grill for a few minutes. Cook until beginning to brown, turning to make sure both sides are done to perfection. Be careful not to over-cook however as dry Halloumi isn’t the best. Brushing with a little olive oil is optional. I never bother.
BBQ Halloumi Kebabs
BBQ Halloumi kebabs are easy to make, but do need a little care in the skewering… For best results, carefully cut the Halloumi into cubes (about 2½ to 3 cm square) with a sharp, even-bladed knife and poke onto fine, pointed round skewers… It’s a small, but crucial requirement… Flat skewers have a tendency to crack and split the cheese, leaving it at risk of certain inedible death on hot coals.
Once skewered along with juicy veg, place carefully on the barbecue grill and cook until browning at the edges, turning frequently. If the Halloumi looks ‘fragile’, place on a piece of foil pierced with holes to let the smoke through.
However you cook it, Halloumi is best served as soon as it is done… Hot and succulent. Pair with sweeter veg as with my BBQ Halloumi kebabs for that summer ‘umami’ hit. Actually, I think it would also be a divine alternative to Feta in my Watermelon, Cucumber and Feta Salad.
BBQ Halloumi Cooked on a ‘Cobb’
If you’ve never seen or used a Cobb barbecue before, then take a look… I can’t rave about it enough (and no, I have never worked with or been asked to promote this gem of a gadget). It is honestly the best piece of outdoor equipment we’ve invested in. Why? Well basically, it’s compact, transportable and efficient.
Because the Cobb works on special ‘Cobblestones’ made from coconut shell, it burns hotter than charcoal (although you can also use good quality charcoal briquettes or restaurant-grade lump wood). Its unique double-walled design also means that it stays cold on the outside. And that makes it safe enough to place on the garden table for a truly shared barbecue experience.
Even better, it packs into a handy bag, making it great for camping, taking down the beach and other barbie picnics wherever you choose. AND… it only takes a few minutes for the Cobblestone to come to cook temperature. So, it’s ready for action in a flash… Ideal for the temperamental UK weather that can change in an instant. Once lit, the Cobblestone will stay hot for about two hours…
Can I make BBQ Halloumi Skewers indoors?
If the weather turns and you still want to eat BBQ Halloumi Skewers, it’s fine to head to the kitchen. Grab the skewers, pop them on some foil and grill them ‘indoor style’ instead. Just remember to turn them frequently to cook them evenly.
And for a little bit of smokiness, why not add some Halen Mon Oak Smoked Water? It’s such a fantastic ingredient when you want that outdoor taste indoors. I also use it in my Baba Ganoush recipe to get that BBQ flavour from the oven.
Love Halloumi… Love Halloumi Skewers?
Let me know if you make my BBQ Halloumi Skewers. It’s a favourite here and we hope you love them too. Leave a comment or tag me on social media #glutenfreealchemist (SM links at the top of the page).
If you are looking for other BBQ inspiration, here’s a few ideas from Gluten Free Alchemist :
- Pina Colada BBQ Pineapple
- BBQ Swordfish with Lime, Pistachio & Coriander
- Marinated BBQ’d Veg
- Watermelon Bacardi Cooler (perfect with BBQs)
For everything else, why not check out our photographic Index?
BBQ Halloumi Skewers with Sweet Summer Veg
- chopping board
- sharp knife
- fine pointed round skewers
- Barbecue (or grill)
- Foil (optional)
- 225 g Halloumi (1 block) cut into medium cubes – see NOTES
- 1 red onion peeled, trimmed & quartered (split into pieces 2 to 3 layers thick)
- 2 peppers – red/yellow/orange deseeded and cut into chunks
- 250 g cherry tomatoes – red/yellow approx
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- Prepare the Halloumi and veg as outlined in the ingredients and NOTES below.
- Randomly skewer the vegetables and Halloumi onto the skewers, being careful as you poke the skewer through (a gentle twisting action helps), to avoid splitting the cheese.
- Brush the skewers with a little olive oil.
- Place on a hot barbecue (or under the grill) and cook, turning occasionally until the veg is softening and the edges are beginning to char nicely.
- Eat immediately.
© 2019-2021 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist
BBQ Halloumi Skewers shared with :
- Funtastic Friday #295 with Coastal Bohemian
- Full Plate Thursday #499 with Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
- Meatless Monday with Confessions of a Mother Runner and A Whisk & Two Wands