Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Chargrilled asparagus, courgette & halloumi with roasted tomatoes and basil oil

You probably think I have an obsession by now (and you might be right) but here is another of Ottolenghi’s creations. I ate this salad recently at an event and have been dreaming about it ever since. After much googling I discovered that it was not a chef original (as I was deceptively told) but an Ottolenghi. Of course it was.
This recipe actually calls for manouri cheese but they didn’t have that available in my local (not that I looked for it) and I wanted to use halloumi anyway. Halloumi, the dreamiest, saltiest, squidgiest wonderment, completely makes any dish for me; although do make sure you eat it warm so it doesn’t get too squeaky. Team that with chargrilled courgette and asparagus and top it with little roasted tomatoes and basil oil and you have a beautiful and completely scrumptious salad. Are you drooling yet?

Chargrilled asparagus, courgette & halloumi with roasted tomatoes and basil oil
An Ottolenghi creation with couple of little changes...
Quantities: Serves 3 as a main (maybe 4-5 as a side)
Timings: 35 mins
Kitchen Stuff: Roasting pan, serving bowl, foil, grill pan

350g cherry tomatoes, halved
140ml olive oil
24 asparagus spears
2 courgettes
250g halloumi cheese, sliced 1-2cm thick
70g rocket
coarse sea salt and black pepper

Basil oil:
60ml olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
25g basil leaves
a pinch of salt
¼ tsp black pepper


Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C

1. TOMATOES: Arrange the tomato halves skin down on some foil on a baking tray. Season with a drizzle of oil, salt and pepper then roast at 170 degrees C for 30 mins.

2. ASPARAGUS: Heat your grill pan. Blanch the asparagus stalks for two mins then drain and run under cold water until cool. Season with a drizzle of oil, salt and pepper.

3. COURGETTE: Using a vegetable peeler, peel your courgette into thin strips lengthways. Season with a little oil, salt and pepper.

4. BASIL OIL: Blitz the basil, garlic clove, oil and seasoning until it is well combined.

5. CHARGRILL: On your hot grillpan, chargrill your veg in batches so it gets some nice char lines on it and move cooked veg to a separate plate (put the extractor fan on, it's getting hot in here).

6. HALLOUMI: Grill your halloumi for a minute or two on each side until softened with large char marks.

7. SERVE: Layer your rocket, charged veg and halloumi. Top with roasted tomatoes and drizzle with basil oil. Serve immediately!

Wasn't that easy?