At some point over this past semester, I started to lose my mind. The weather was getting warm and the school struggle became real. One night, I decided to put it all out the window and cook a meal that took way too much time to make! My criteria for this night included the following: a healthy, vegetarian, and Mediterranean dinner accompanied by a strong drink and my handsome husband.
With a recipe from Aglaia Kremezi’s fantastic Mediterranean Vegetarian Feasts in hand, I attempted to slice zucchini thinly into strips, then rolled the strips up with chunks of halloumi cheese and a mixture of ground walnuts, garlic, red pepper flakes, freshly chopped mint, and ground allspice.
Halloumi is one of my favorite Greek cheeses these days. It has a firm, rubbery texture–which makes it great for grilling–and a pleasantly salty taste. You can find halloumi at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. At Cava Mezze, halloumi is the star of a popular dish in which it is covered in liqueur and then lit on fire!
Anyway, the slicing and rolling was not pretty or easy — but I got through it. I stuck toothpicks through the rolls and broiled them in the oven. Meanwhile, I made some bulgur and Aglaia Kremezi’s tomato sauce, which is unique and incredibly delicious due to the addition of an orange peel! I served the zucchini rolls on top of a bed of bulgur with tomato sauce on the side for mixing and dipping. We also ate my attempt at Joshua McFadden’s infamous Tuscan Kale with Pecorino as a side salad.
Finally, Chris put together our favorite “Tears of Chios” mastiha liqueur cocktail. We sat outside on our little balcony and had the best time digging into a meal that had no business being made on a weeknight, but in the end, felt like a mini vacation. For lunch leftovers the rest of the week, we enjoyed bulgur mixed with tomato sauce and chunks of both halloumi and zucchini — much easier to assemble than the rolls, though unfortunately without the full flavors of course!