Grilled Mediterranean Salad

4.4
(11)

Remember the pasta salad that adorned every buffet in the '90s? This is a modern refresh, featuring delicious twists of campanelle pasta that are slicked with a balsamic dressing and adorned with crispy cubes of halloumi, grilled vegetables, and fragrant fresh oregano. The ingredients call for zucchini, bell peppers, and red onion, but a wide variety of veggies would do. Throw in chopped, peak-of-summer tomatoes, or grilled eggplant or mushrooms to mix it up. Serve with an effervescent white wine like Vinho Verde, Txakoli, or Grüner Veltliner.

Grilled Mediterranean Salad Recipe
Photo: Jennifer Causey
Hands On Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
Yield:
8 serves

Ingredients

  • 1 pound uncooked campanelle pasta

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar

  • ¾ cup olive oil, divided, plus more for grill grates

  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided, plus more for water

  • 2 medium zucchini, trimmed and cut into ¼-in. planks

  • 2 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, cored, and seeded

  • 1 red onion, cut into ½-in. wedges

  • 8 ounces Halloumi cheese, cut into ½-in. slabs

  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped, plus more for serving

  • 1 cup chopped roasted almonds, divided

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 6 to 7 minutes. Drain; rinse under cold water and drain again. Transfer to a large bowl.

  2. While pasta cooks, whisk vinegar, ½ cup oil, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.

  3. Preheat grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F) and lightly oil grates (or heat an oiled grill pan over high). Toss zucchini, bell peppers, onion, and 3 tablespoons oil in a bowl. Brush cheese with remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a separate bowl.

  4. Grill vegetables, uncovered, flipping once, until tender and browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a bowl. Add ¼ cup vinaigrette and ½ teaspoon salt; toss to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, grill cheese, uncovered, flipping once, until grill marks appear, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a plate.

  6. Add oregano, remaining vinaigrette, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt to pasta; stir to combine. Chop zucchini, bell peppers, and cheese into rough 1½-inch squares; add to pasta mixture. Stir onion, any remaining dressing in vegetable bowl, and ¾ cup almonds into pasta mixture. Transfer to a platter. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup almonds and top with oregano.

Chef's Notes

When grilling the Halloumi, use tongs to slowly raise one corner of the cheese to check for sticking. If it doesn’t lift off easily, lower it down for about 10 seconds, then try again.

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