I love a meal that can be prepared, assembled, and eaten outdoors … well, I love them this time of year anyway! One of my favorites involves grabbing a ring of chorizo (or another other sausage you enjoy) from the market and pairing it with grilled zucchini (who doesn't have zucchini around this time of year?) and peppers, fresh tomatoes, and grilled haloumi, which is a salty, firm cheese that develops a fantastic crust and texture when grilled or fried. Top all of that with a simple sauce that's made by shaking delicious things together and letting the heat from the items from the grill to warm and slightly thicken it, and you've got a meal worth singing about!
Can you tweak this meal? Yes - I already mentioned that you can use whatever kind of sausage you prefer (or skip it). You can also mix and match the veggies to suit what you have on hand, in your garden, or have a hankering for. Do you have a lot of fresh basil? Add that! One lonely cob of corn? Grill it and take it off the cob to add it to the mix. I like to have fresh tomatoes on hand because they add such a nice splash of color and flavor, but you can pick whatever varieties you like and enjoy. If you can't find or don't enjoy haloumi, add fresh mozzarella to the mix, but keep it off the grill. You get the idea.
This is a complete meal on its own and doesn't require any sides. If you want, you can grab a bit of crusty bread to sop up the juices left on your plate or in your bowl at the end of the meal, but I find it's easier to focus on pouring a glass of something you really enjoy to sip alongside this casual summer dinner that will have you savoring summer in all its glory.
- 1 tablespoon whole grain dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium zucchini
- 2 sweet bell peppers - I used one red and one yellow
- 1 ring chorizo
- 6 oz. haloumi
- 6 oz. grape tomatoes, halved
Combine the first 6 ingredients (mustard through olive oil) in a resealable jar. Seal the jar and shake vigorously to combine the sauce; set aside.
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (375-400° F) and place a grill plate on the grill. While the grill is preheating, slice the zucchini in half, lengthwise. When the grill is hot, place the zucchini (skin side down), peppers, and chorizo on the hot grill plate and close the lid of the grill. Set a timer for 7 minutes and when it goes off, flip everything on the grill and set another timer for 5-7 minutes, depending on how tender the vegetables were when you flipped them the first time.
While the grilling is happening, cut the grape tomatoes in half in put them and the sauce in a large serving bowl. Check the veggies and sausage and remove them to a large cutting board (you can use the same one you used to cut the tomatoes). Turn the grill off and set the slices of haloumi on the hot grill plate and close the grill lid. While that sizzles, cut the zucchini and chorizo into bite-sized pieces and add them to the the serving bowl with the sauce and tomatoes; give it a quick stir. Deseed and peel the peppers as desired and cut them into strips or chunks; add them to the serving bowl as well. After the cheese has sizzled for 5 minutes, carefully flip it and allow it to sizzle for another 5 minutes before removing it to the cutting board and cutting it into cubes. Add the cheese to the serving bowl as well and give the mixture a final stir before serving.
- Yields: 4 servings
- Preparation Time: 30 minutes