Halloumi-and-Vegetable Skewers with Pomegranate-Tahini Sauce

Pomegranate molasses is the secret ingredient in this simple marinade. Its punchy, sweet, earthy notes add long-cooked depth of flavor to cheese and vegetable skewers in just 30 minutes of marination, with pleasantly bitter tahini rounding things out. The pomegranate-tahini marinade goes the extra mile as a final drizzle for the skewers; thinned with fresh orange juice, it supplies the perfect, sweet-savory finish to the dish. Be sure to soak wooden skewers in water before threading on the cheese and vegetables to prevent flare-ups while grilling or broiling. 

Pomegranate Tahini Sauce with Halloumi and Vegetable Skewers
Photo: Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 5 mins
Servings:
4

Ingredients

  • ½ cup tahini, well stirred

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 10 tablespoons fresh orange juice (from 2 oranges), as needed, divided

  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 medium (8-ounce) bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 1 small (7-ounce) red onion, cut into 10 (1/2-inch-thick) wedges

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes

  • 1 pound Halloumi cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • Cooked white rice and chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

Directions

  1. Place 10 (8-inch) wooden skewers in a large bowl or sealed bag with water, and let soak 20 minutes; remove from water.

  2. Whisk together tahini, oil, 5 tablespoons orange juice, pomegranate molasses, salt, and black pepper in a medium bowl until emulsified and smooth. Measure 1/2 cup sauce into a small bowl; cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use or up to 5 days. Thread bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, and Halloumi evenly onto wooden skewers. Place skewers on a large baking sheet, and brush evenly with remaining sauce (about 1/2 cup) in medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

  3. Preheat grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Place skewers on lightly oiled grates; grill, covered, turning occasionally, until tender and lightly charred, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter with rice.

  4. Stir up to remaining 5 tablespoons orange juice into reserved 1/2 cup sauce as needed to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over vegetable skewers and rice; sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately.

Notes

Alternatively, to broil the skewers: Cover ends of skewers with aluminum foil to prevent burning. Arrange skewers on a greased baking sheet. Broil 4 1/2 inches from heat source until browned, about 8 minutes, flipping skewers halfway through broiling time.

Pomegranate molasses can be found at foodsofnations.com.

Make Ahead

Sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 3 days.

Suggested Pairing

Tart, minerally Greek white: Gai'a Monograph Assyrtiko

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