This is one of our signature camping meals. We first made it several years ago and have been including it on trip menus ever since. It’s a good way to get in some fresh vegetables during the first few days of an extended backcountry trip, and an excellent use for that squashed loaf of bread that’s going a bit stale on the third or fourth day. If you leave out the bread, the ingredients will last at least a week without refrigeration. Nothing like grilled vegetables on day seven!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- campfire grill (your own or one you find thrown in the bushes at any given campsite)
- wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes to resist burning (use a Nalgene bottle)
- knife and cutting board
- tongs or well-calloused fingertips
- one sweet bell pepper
- one small zucchini
- one small summer squash
- one sweet onion
- one sealed package of halloumi cheese
- leftover stale loaf of bread
- drizzle of olive oil (pack in leak-proof Nalgene container)
- drizzle of balsamic vinegar (pack this in a leak-proof container, too)
- salt & pepper
Wash all veg at home, wrap in paper towels, pack into soft-sided cooler bags, and store in a deep, dark corner of your food barrel/pack (use frozen beers to keep your cheese cool in another bag if you have them, but if not, it will still keep for about a week in a cool, dark place). Cut vegetables, cheese and bread into inch-sized cubes. Thread onto soaked wooden skewers. Try to give each skewer equal amounts of every item, or someone will be sad if they end up with less cheese than everyone else. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, making sure the stale bread soaks up some oil and vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill over coals, turning frequently so as not to burn the bread too much or lose the gooey cheese to the flames. The bread will blacken slightly on the edges. It’s done when the cheese is nicely browned and starting to melt, and the vegetables are tender-crisp. The halloumi has a lovely squeaky texture, similar to cheese curds, and the stale bread will have soaked up some liquid and be nicely toasted on the outside.
Serves two starving canoeists as an entree, and up to four as a side dish/appetizer. You can add other vegetables like mushrooms and grape tomatoes, too!