Semi-firm, brined halloumi cheese is perfect for outdoor cuisine because it holds its shape when heated on a grill. The exterior becomes crispy while the interior turns velvety. It’s just one reason why this flame-licked salad is destined to become a campfire tale for years to come. If taking up residence at a cottage with an oven, the peppers, halloumi, and pitas can be prepared under the broiler. You can also press the easy button and bring along a jar of roasted red peppers.
Hot stuff: Fire patrol
Nothing tastes quite like a savoury meal cooked lovingly over a campfire. When cooking in a fire pit, you want a controlled fire that is a few inches away from the grate of your grill. Ideally, don’t work with a roaring new fire—it’s best to let the coals set, which builds up heat. This way, the fire won’t shift on you and complicate the cooking process.
2 large red bell peppers
8 oz (250 g) pkg halloumi cheese
2 large whole grain pitas
8 cups (2 L) salad greens
1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 cup (80 mL) sliced kalamata olives (optional)
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped walnuts
1/3 cup (80 mL) prepared hummus
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil or camelina oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) zaíatar seasoning
Remove stems from peppers and cut in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and inner white membrane. Brush pepper halves with oil. On grill grate set over a fire, place peppers, cut sides down. Heat until tender, flip peppers, and grill until skins are blistered in several places. Remove peppers from grill grate, place in bowl, and cover for 15 minutes. Remove charred skin from peppers and then slice into 1 in (2.5 cm) wide lengths. Alternatively, heat pepper halves in dry skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat on stovetop or camp stove until skins are significantly blackened.
Upend halloumi onto one of its long sides and slice lengthwise into 2 slabs. Brush both sides with oil and place on grill grate set over a fire. Heat halloumi until grill marks appear on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Slice into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces. Alternatively, heat halloumi in skillet over medium-high heat on stovetop or camp stove until darkened in spots.
Brush pitas with oil and place on grill grate and heat, turning once, until golden and crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Alternatively, toast pitas, one at a time, in dry skillet until darkened in spots on both sides. Slice pitas into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces.
Divide salad greens among 4 serving plates and top with roasted pepper, halloumi, sun-dried tomatoes, pita chunks, olives (if using), and walnuts. Whisk together hummus, oil, 2 Tbsp (30 mL) water, lemon juice, garlic, and za’atar. Drizzle hummus dressing over salads.