A Mediterranean style salad with grilled courgettes, aubergine, asparagus and peppers. The star is the salty halloumi which adds the final kick of flavour. Drizzle with salsa verde for the ultimate heavenly salad.
Grilled Halloumi Salad with Salsa Verde
1 small aubergine
12 small-medium asparagus spears
1 large yellow pepper (or red)
125g halloumi cheese
Handful basil, chopped
Handful mint, chopped
1 tbsp capers, chopped
1 spring onion, thinly sliced and minced fine
1/4 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp dijon mustard
Good olive oil
Pinch of salt
Splash of red wine vinegar
1. Preheat oven to 250C. Place the pepper on a roasting tin and into the oven. When the flesh is charred and black it is ready to remove, approx. 30 – 40 minutes depending on your oven. When ready remove and place in a bowl covered with cling film. This will help to remove the charred wrinkled skin when cooled.
2. Prepare the salsa verde: Add the chopped basil, mint, capers, spring onion, crushed garlic, salt and dijon in a bowl, mix well. Pour olive oil over the herb mixture until soaked in the oil. Its shouldn’t be swimming in oil, but have the texture of a thick dressing. Add a small splash to red wine vinegar for bite. To balance the dressing you will need to add squirts of lemon juice to the salsa and taste as you do, until you find the perfect balance.
3. Now prepare the other vegetables: The aubergine and courgette should be sliced as thin as possible, and evenly. If you have a mandolin use this to slice. If not then follow these instructions:
– Slice the aubergine in half length-ways. Then with the inside facing down, slice as thin as you can from one side to another. You will need a sharp knife for this.
– Use a wide vegetable grater to slice long pieces off the courgette, top to bottom.
4. Brush aubergine and courgette with a little olive oil. Heat a griddle pan and griddle the courgette, aubergine and asparagus in batches. Turn each piece only once, and not before each side has lovely chargrilled marks on the flesh.
5. When the vegetables are done, cut the halloumi into thin slices. Add these to the griddle pan and cook each piece in the same way as the vegetables, turning only once and leaving chargrilled marks. The halloumi will keep its shape and not melt.
6. Remove the skin from the pepper, clean away the seeds and cut into thin strips.
7. To arrange the salad: Scatter and layer the vegetables on a large plate, season with salt and pepper if needed, and finish with the halloumi cheese. Drizzle with a little salsa verde, and serve the remaining dressing on the side.