Crispy Grains and Halloumi With Smashed Cucumbers

Crispy Grains and Halloumi With Smashed Cucumbers

This vegetarian sheet-pan meal is inspired by crispy rice dishes like tahdig, fried rice and pegao, but, instead of white rice, this recipe calls for whole grains like brown rice, wheat berries or farro. For best results, spread the grains and chickpeas on a sheet pan and pat lightly with a paper towel to remove moisture before cooking — the drier they are, the more they’ll crisp up. Then top everything with smashed cucumbers that have been combined with citrus and fresh herbs. As the whole grains cook, the cucumbers marinate, releasing sweet, grassy juices that are then used as a dressing. (You can also use the liquid on a simple panzanella or a baby-green salad.)
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat the broiler on high with a rack six or fewer inches from the heat source. Put the grains, halloumi and chickpeas on a sheet pan to air dry while you prepare the other ingredients. (You can do this up to a day ahead and refrigerate the sheet pan.)
  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, smash the cucumbers with the side of your knife until they’re craggy and split. Coarsely chop into irregular 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer the cucumbers and any liquid on the cutting board to a small bowl and season with salt. Finely grate about 1 teaspoon of the citrus zest over the cucumbers, then squeeze in 3 tablespoons juice. Cut any remaining citrus into wedges for serving. Add the herbs and 1 tablespoon olive oil, stir to combine and set aside. (Cucumbers can be prepared up to 3 hours in advance.)
  3. Step 3

    Add remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and the cumin to the sheet pan. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, spread in an even layer, and broil, shaking the pan occasionally or tossing with a fork, until the chickpeas start to pop and everything is crisped and golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. Step 4

    Serve the grain-bean mixture topped with the cucumbers and the dressing in the bowl. Season to taste with salt, pepper, citrus juice and olive oil.