“We know what the world wants from us. We know we must decide whether to stay small, quiet and uncomplicated or allow ourselves to grow as big, loud and complex as we were made to be. Every girl must decide whether to be true to herself or true to the world. Every girl must decide whether to settle for adoration or fight for love.”
-Glennon Doyle Melton
It feels silly to talk about summer salads and zucchini abundance with the current state of affairs. It would be easy to turn off the news and continue in the illusion that everyone lives in my world, ignorance is bliss as they say. I am all too often guilty of not following the head lines, of not realizing the full extent of my own privilege in this world. I’m always spreading lots of talk about doing what you can within your own circle and being kind to yourself and others every day. Lately I do not feel as though this is enough. Did love not become enough, or is there simply just not enough of it to go around? I don’t know. I don’t know much. I’m not an expert in social justice or political affairs but I do know when something has become ultimately heartbreaking and terrifying. And I do know that silence can not be an option anymore. I am vowing to be better. louder. I have no clue how to do this or that I will even be able to do anything at all, but as with all things in life, I just need to start. I’m not convinced that this is the right space to talk about this stuff but if not here then where? I’m forever a fan of Brene Brown’s work and I love what she says here about owning our own story so it can no longer own us, as hard as that may be. This is not something we are separate from. So we need to talk about it, and we can talk about it without shame or discomfort if we make the room. I’m sorry if you came here looking for a heart warming story about summer gardening and hiding from your neighbours zucchinis, there will be more time for all that too but I guess today this is where I start.
GRILLED ZUCCHINI SALAD WITH HALLOUMI, TAHINI + MINT
Right. This salad. The zucchini can be grilled or roasted depending on your kitchen equipment. If you have a bbq even better, that smoky flavor is hard to beat, but a grill pan will also do the trick. Same goes for the halloumi. You can bulk up the zucchini here if you have them in abundance or are feeding a crowd. Quantities below will serve 2 as a main or 4 as a side. Use the full 1 cup of chickpeas if serving 4, less if only for 2. If you’re not a fan of salty halloumi, some crumbled feta would be a nice replacement. If you do not eat dairy, some marinated tofu or crispy fried tofu would be excellent in this salad, especially if you can get your hands on the smoked kind. If you are gluten intolerant you can replace the bulgur with quinoa or lentils. If there is any other way you can change up the recipe to better suit your taste buds, please be my guest x
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove of garlic, grated with a microplane
1 teaspoon honey (or maple syrup)
1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek (chili paste), chili garlic sauce or siracha
4-5 tablespoons water
Sea salt + black pepper, to taste
2 medium zucchinis, sliced
150g halloumi cheese, sliced into thin squares or rectangles
1/2 cup bulgur
1/2 – 1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 green onion, thinly sliced
Large handful fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
Handful flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
Sea salt + black pepper
Cook the bulgur. Add 1/2 cup bulgur, 1 cup of water and a good pinch of salt to a small pot. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork.
Heat a well seasoned grill pan or outdoor grill to high. Toss the sliced zucchini in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the zucchini in a single layer on the grill, leaving space between each slice. Grill uncovered, flipping once, until charred on the edges and tender but still crisp – about 5-7 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
To make the dressing place all ingredients except the water into a small blender. Begin blending and slowly add in water until desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
In a large salad bowl combine cooked chickpeas, cooked bulgur, sliced green onion, mint and parsley. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
Reheat the well seasoned grill pan or cast iron skillet to medium heat. Once hot, add the halloumi in a single layer and fry until golden brown and crisp, a few minutes on each side. Repeat with the remaining cheese.
Add the grilled zucchini and warm halloumi to the salad and toss to combine. Drizzle with dressing, garnish with extra mint leaves and lemon zest. Serve immediately.
Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!