Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor Day "Pasta" Salad with Sausage and Halloumi

I dropped off my boyfriend Brian at the airport for a business trip and prepped for a small family barbecue celebrating Labor Day. My assignments were easy - some type of hors d'oeuvres and a side. The starter is easy - a triple creme brie, hard salami, crackers and roasted and marcona almonds.

For the side, I did a take on a "pasta" salad with a mix of seeds/grains from Trader Joe's called Harvest Grains Blend with Israeli couscous, red and green orzo, split dried garbanzo beans, and red quinoa. I tossed that with some chopped sweet red peppers, sliced chicken sausage and a tangy vinaigrette - plus the salty and fantastic Halloumi cheese. Delicious and it made TONS so plenty for lunch tomorrow and to send home with my little brother John who is often broke, in college and perpetually starving.

Happy Labor Day all - hope it was a relaxing weekend!

Harvest Grains "Pasta" Salad:
(serves 8-10 as a side dish)

1 bag Trader Joe's Harvest Grains (or use orzo or other pasta)
3.5 c chicken or beef broth
4 large links chicken or turkey sausage
1-2 sweet red peppers, chopped
1 block Halloumi cheese, cubed (approx 4-6 oz)
.5 c chives, snipped
1 tbs Djion mustard
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or as needed)

Bring broth to a boil. Add grain mix and bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cover and let stand 10 minutes (or less if using pasta). Meanwhile, saute sausage in a bit of olive oil until golden brown and cooked through. Let cool, then slice into half moon pieces.

Meanwhile, chop peppers, Halloumi and chives.

Mix chives, mustard, salt, pepper and red wine vinegar in a deep bowl. Whisk in oil until desired consistency or amount of oil. I used just 1/4 cup.

Once grain mix is done, toss and cool in a large bowl. Once room temperature, toss with dressing, then peppers and sausage. Top with cheese and a bit of reserved chives for garnish. Chill if not serving immediately. Serve at room temperature. Toss well just before serving,


Mo said...

Hi Kirsten!
Good to see you cooking and sharing your delicious creations! I have a bag of that TJ's grain blend in my pantry. Now I know exactly what to do with it. Thanks for sharing.
I hope you had a relaxing holiday weekend as well.

Peabody said...

Looks like an excellent side dish!

Audrey said...

I'm inspired! I have been enjoying your blog and I like your idea of using the harvest grains blend in place of pasta. I'm going to look for it at Trader Joe's; I'm thinking of using it in place of wild rice in a casserole.

Katelyn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katelyn said...

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That is so interesting! Very unique... I love it!

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Pasta salad is one of my favorites. Your recipe will go on my list to try.

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I've never tried Halloumi cheese before and I love cheese. This is a very odd looking dish but my taste buds would probably think twice.

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Wow.. this is looking delicious. Recipe are so easy, i wanna make it.

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Rachel Johnson said...

I love pasta salads... I tried you dish and my children and husband loved it.. Thank you so much.. want to recommend using Patan ghee instead of butter for better health and taste... Thanks and regards...


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Elana said...

I made a warm version of this in my crockpot. I have never thought to make it into a pasta salad of sorts. This would be a great lunch idea

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Wow this looks amazing, i love haloumi, im going to have to try this one for sure.

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This looks very good, I'll give it a try and let you know how it turns out.

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Ann Mill said...

This looks so good. I love the way you combine things. It is really lovely.

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Beautiful dish. I can already taste it!

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I like pasta salad very much. It is simple to prepare, delicious and as diverse as you want. You can throw in fresh summer greens, grilled chicken or fish for a great side or meal in itself.

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