This is a take on a recipe from my favorite Australian cookbook again, My Grill by Pete Evans. The original recipe calls for haloumi cheese, which I love, but we only had time to run into Whole Foods for ingredients today and their price for the haloumi made my head spin! So, we decided to try it with crumbled feta today. I have to say after tasting it with the feta, it’s damn good! But the haloumi, if you aren’t familiar, is an awesome cheese to try because it DOES NOT MELT. You coat it in olive oil, salt and pepper and grill over high heat until it has grill marks, then chop it up and toss it in the salad. It’s such a unique cheese with a strange (but good) texture…if you can find it, give it a try for sure. One more tid-bit about this recipe…it calls for SPANISH chorizo, NOT Mexican chorizo, and believe me there is a HUGE difference! I am not the biggest fan of Mexican chorizo and was wary to give the Spanish chorizo a try. It’s completely different…it is a heavily paprika spiced and cured sausage with a very distinctive smokiness. Another difference, you don’t need to cook Spanish chorizo and you almost always have to cook Mexican chorizo. So here is my spin on the recipe…it’s such a great summer snack I make tons and eat it for days on end…
You will need:
- 3-4 large red bell peppers
- 2-3 Spanish chorizo, casing removed and cut into quarter inch coins (this will vary because sometimes I find the chorizo in 10 in long pieces and will use two and sometimes they are the normal sausage size of about 6 inches so I’ll use three)
- 1-2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Heaping handful Italian parsley
- 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 8 oz. haloumi cheese, cut into ½ inch slices (or crumbled feta like I mentioned earlier)
- 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
- Hefty pinch of red pepper flakes or Shake
- Salt & pepper
- Juice of 1 lemon
To make the salad:
- Broil the bell peppers until blackened on all sides. Put in a bowl and cover with foil to let steam for 20 minutes. Remove blackened skin and seeds. Slice and dice into small cubes. Place in a large bowl.
- To the large bowl, add the 2 cans of drained and rinsed chickpeas, the red wine vinegar and olive oil, the chopped parsley, the smoked paprika, the juice of 1 lemon and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine.
- With a sharp knife, gently slice through the chorizo casing and remove. Slice the Spanish chorizo into ¼ inch coins and cook over medium-high heat in olive oil and red pepper flakes until browned on both sides (or you can leave the casing on, coat in olive oil and grill on your outside grill on high heat until the sausage blisters, then slice into ¼ inch coins). Add chorizo to the chickpea mixture. Toss to combine.
- If you are adding crumbled feta, crumble into the salad now. If you are choosing to grill haloumi cheese, coat it in olive oil and toss onto the hot grill for a couple minute each side or until it has grill marks. Cut into cubes and toss into the salad.
This salad is great as a side dish alongside pretty much anything and it’s also great as it’s own course. I plan on enjoying this again during a Fourth of July picnic with my boyfriend, who will surely pick out and eat all the chorizo himself. Oh well, it’s still delicious!