last night, after a day of not being in the sun (yay, documentary project), i arrive home incredibly hungry. i was able to get to the farmer’s market in union square (ramps are in, in case anyone wants to know). i bought white onions, garlic, oyster mushrooms, dinosaur kale, and halloumi!

i’ve walked by the goat cheese stand so many times (right now, i am wishing that i could remember the name of the farm). they have a sign with a picture of goat and L shaped text that says “GOAT CHEESE”. they are hard to miss. i’ve never stopped, but the words “Halloumi” on the white board just screamed out at me. i stopped and took a look and asked the woman behind the table. this batch was really good. she had done an extra squeeze out of the liquid, and the halloumi was really holding its shape. and $8 later, i had the centerpiece for this meal.

i first had grilled haloumi while touring The Bakkhai in greece and cyprus the summer before my senior year in college. two of us were vegetarians (yes, we were offered lamb when we said we didn’t eat meat). after enough feta and stuffed peppers and tomatoes to make us not care about eating anymore (neither of us ate feta for a year after we returned), we found grilled halloumi, and it was a revelation.

i’ve only had grilled halloumi in restaurants, but with my time opening up (and my money becoming tight), i am on a cook-at-home kick. i looked up some recipes, but not having lemon in the house, i decided to just let the cheese be itself. i started the rice in the cooker with some salt and a vegan “beef” broth cube. i sliced 3 cloves of garlic and chopped 3 medium onions. i washed the oyster mushrooms and the dinosaur kale and set aside to drain. in my favourite pan, i heated the olive oil and dropped in the garlic. after about a half a minute, i added the onion. while that was cooking, i sliced the mushrooms to bite sized pieces. when the onions were relatively clear, i added the mushrooms and turned on the heat for my grill pan. once the mushrooms were cooked a bit, i added the kale. i put a little olive oil on the grill pan and placed the halloumi on top. i cooked everything until the kale had cooked down and both sides of the halloumi had beautiful grill marks. in the last minute of cooking the kale, i added a generous splash of champagne vinegar. the rice cooker button popped, and it was time to eat!

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