You wouldn't think a simple dish of chargrilled vegetables could taste any better, but it can.
Yes, Ottolenghi does it again, with this combination of fresh salad leaves, oven-roasted tomatoes, strips of finely sliced zucchini and chargrilled asparagus. Just add some haloumi cheese and anoint the dish with basil and garlic-scented olive oil, and it's ambrosia on a plate. How suitably poetic!
The original recipe calls for manouri cheese, a Greek semi-soft, fresh white whey cheese made from goat's or sheep's milk. Haloumi cheese is a good substitute and is probably easier to find, which is why I've used it here.
Char-grilled Vegetable Salad with Haloumi
250g cherry tomatoes, halved5 tblsp olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
24 asparagus spears
2 medium zucchini (courgettes)
120g haloumi, sliced
40g rocket or other salad leaves
75ml olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
25g basil leaves
salt and black pepper, to season
1. Preheat the oven to 170C (375F). Spread the tomatoes onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and mix with three tablespoons of oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay them out, skinside down, on the baking tray and roast for 25-30 minutes, until semi-dried. Set aside to cool.
2. Peel and trim the woody bases from the asparagus and blanch in boiling water for four minutes. Drain, refresh in cold water, drain, then transfer to a bowl and toss with one tablespoon of oil and salt and pepper.
3. Slice the zucchini very thinly lengthwise and mix with a tablespoon of oil, salt and pepper.
4. Place a ridged griddle pan on a high heat and leave for a few minutes until very hot. Grill the zucchini and asparagus, turning after a minute - or until char marks appear. Remove and leave to cool slightly.
5. Add the haloumi to the pan and fry for 2 minutes a side, or until golden. Drain on paper towel.
6. To make the basil oil, mix all the ingredients in a food processor (or in a bowl) until smooth.
7. 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 basil oil and serve.
Recipe adapted from Ottolenghi The Cookbook
Ingredients, fresh from the
Using a griddle pan will give nice grill marks on the vegetables and cheese
Serve with basil oil