Here is another wonderfully fresh and tasty salad for your summer (or winter) barbecue.  I find that a delicious healthy salad is such a great way to get your veggies in (and can be an easy but impressive entertainer too).  This salad is from Yotam Ottolenghi – a fabulous cook of middle eastern food.  You will be seeing more of his recipes on this blog I promise!

It requires a little preparation of the vegetables before assembly, but I find it quite therapeutic standing over the griddle pan  watching the little black lines appear on my veggies and as I said the end result is very impressive – you will be very proud of your creation!

This salad I made was plenty for 6 people, you can add or takeaway depending on how many you are making it for … I served it with a delicious baked sumac and zaatar chicken (watch for recipe to come) but would be just as delicious with my healthy bbq chook or a marinated butterflied lamb or any marinated meat or fish really …

Chargrilled Asparagus, Zucchini And Haloumi Salad

with Slow Roasted Tomatoes And Basil Oil

What you will need:

1 punnet (about 1 cup) mini roma tomatoes  (or cherry tomatoes) halved

Olive oil, Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper

2 bunches asparagus

1 block (250 grams/9 ounces)  haloumi cheese  (Ottolenghi uses manouri but haloumi was delicious here)

2 large zucchinis (courgettes)

1  bag baby rocket leaves

Basil Oil

1/3 cup olive oil

1 garlic clove chopped (or 1 teaspoon organic minced garlic)

25 g (1 ounce) basil leaves

salt and pepper

How to bring it all together:

Firstly, mix the tomatoes with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread the tomatoes out (skin down).  Roast in the oven (180 degrees celcius/ 350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 50 minutes or until they are the way you like them.  Remove from oven and cool.

Next, chop the woody ends off the asparagus and blanch in boiling water for 2minutes.  Drain and refresh under cold water until the spears have completely cooled.  Drain and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Slice the zucchinis very thinly lengthwise.  Mix with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper.

Heat a ridged griddle pan on a very high heat until really hot.  Grill the zucchinis and asparagus on both sides  (about 1 minute per side).   You want to get beautiful stripes  on these vegetables.

Once your veggies are prepared you can either set aside to assemble closer to serving time, or start preparing your salad now.

To make the basil oil – put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth.  If you only have a large processor you may wish to double ingredients so that the blades catch everything  (you can keep half the oil in the fridge for future salads) but I find that my mini food processor is fine for this amount.

When ready to serve the salad, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in the pan and grill the haloumi on each side until golden (and deliciously stripey).

Serve the salad on a flat platter – start with the rocket and build layers of the vegetables, tomatoes and cheese.  Drizzle with the basil oil and serve.

It looks beautiful and tastes even better!

Enjoy

XX

Alix

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