This is another distinguished, colorful, and satisfying salad.
The original recipe called for manouri cheese; I could not find that, so I substituted halloumi. When we were in Paris we enjoyed a lot of cheese (it is said France has 365 type of cheese) but I never tried halloumi. It has a high melting point and so can easily be fried or grilled. Halloumi keeps better and is fresher and more flavoursome when wrapped with mint leaves.
Cypriots like eating halloumi with watermelon in the warm months. That sounds very intriguing: I need to try that whenever summer time comes around here.
chargrilled asparagus, courgettes and halloumi saladAdapted from Ottolenghi :the cookbook
Ingrediants:350g cherry tomatoes
140ml olive oil
coarse sea salt and black pepper
24 asparagus spears
200g halloumi, sliced 2cm thick
25g baby spinch
for the basil oil:
75ml olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
25g basil leaves
a pinch of salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Preheat the oven to 170c. mix the tomatoes with three tablespoons of oil and season. spread them out, on a baking tray lined with parchment, and roast for 50 minutes, until semi-dried. set aside to cool.
Trim the woody bases off the asparagus and blanch in boiling water for four minutes. drain, refresh in cold water until all vestiges of heat have gone, drain, then transfer to a bowl and toss with two tablespoons of oil, salt and pepper.
Slice the courgettes very thinly lengthwise and mix with a tablespoon of oil, salt and pepper.
place a ridged griddle pan on a high heat and leave for a few minutes until very hot. grill the courgettes and asparagus, turning after a minute - you want nice char marks on all sides. remove and leave to cool.
Heat the remaining oil in a pan and fry the manouri for three minutes a side, until golden. drain on kitchen paper. (or chargrill the cheese on the griddle for two minutes a side.)
to make the basil oil, blitz all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Arrange the rocket, vegetables and cheese in layers on a flat serving plate - build up the salad while showing all the individual components. drizzle with as much basil oil as you like (save the rest for another dish) and serve.