Shawarma spice is not just for meat on a stick—and this veg-ified, cheesy meal is proof. Our chefs took grilling cheese (a sturdy cheese that crisps up on the outside, but gets melty on the inside as it gets heated) and seasoned it all over with shawarma spice. The fried cheese is paired with other Middle Eastern–inspired flavors: pistachio-flecked rice, Israeli cucumber-tomato salad, and a drizzle of garlicky white sauce. This meal is equal parts crispy, creamy, and refreshing.
Produced in a facility that processes milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybean.
Shawarma Spice Blend
Veggie Stock Concentrate
• Wash and dry produce. • Halve, peel, and thinly slice shallot; mince a few slices until you have 2 TBSP (4 TBSP for 4 servings). Peel and mince or grate garlic. Roughly chop pistachios. Trim and halve cucumber lengthwise; thinly slice crosswise into half-moons. Halve tomatoes lengthwise. Zest and quarter lemon.
• Melt 1 TBSP butter in a small pot over medium-high heat (use 2 TBSP butter and a medium pot for 4 servings). Add minced shallot, half the garlic, half the pistachios (save the rest for serving), half the Shawarma Spice (you’ll use the rest later), and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. • Stir in rice, stock concentrate, ¾ cup water (1½ cups for 4), and a big pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until rice is tender, 15-18 minutes. • Keep covered off heat until ready to serve.
• In a medium bowl, combine cucumber, tomatoes, and as much sliced shallot as you like. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil, a big squeeze of lemon juice, a pinch of lemon zest, salt, and pepper. • In a small bowl, combine sour cream with remaining garlic to taste. Season with salt. Add water 1 tsp at a time until mixture reaches a drizzling consistency.
• Cut grilling cheese into four large slices (eight slices for 4 servings). Place on a plate; season all over with remaining Shawarma Spice, salt, and pepper. (TIP: It’s OK if not all the spice sticks.) Shake off any excess spice blend.
• Heat a drizzle of oil in a large, preferably nonstick, pan over medium-high heat. Add seasoned grilling cheese and cook until browned, 1-2 minutes per side.
• Fluff rice with a fork; stir in 1 TBSP butter. Season with salt and pepper. • Divide rice between shallow bowls. Top with salad and grilling cheese. Drizzle cheese with garlicky white sauce and hot sauce to taste. Sprinkle with remaining pistachios. Serve with remaining lemon wedges on the side.