Finally summer is properly here although being a typical Brit I am now complaining it is too hot!! Arabella and I did escape the heat on Tuesday afternoon and went to see the Minion movie at the cinema which I highly recommend….fantastic air conditioning and a great film!!
Anyway now it is barbecue weather I am experimenting with some different sides - here is one which took a while to make (1 hour 20 minutes ish) but was super easy and absolutely delicious.
Ingredients for 4-6 people (I did half of this as was cooking for just 2 people):
350g cherry tomatoes, halved
140ml olive oil
24 asparagus spears, trimmed
200g halloumi, cut into 2cm thick slices - or thereabouts
For the basil oil:
75ml / 5 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
25g fresh basil leaves
1/4 tsp black pepper
Preheat the oven to 160 C / 140 C fan / gas mark 3.
In a bowl mix the chopped tomatoes with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season generously.
Lay them out on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Roast in the oven for 50 minutes or until semi dried. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Blanch the asparagus for 4 minutes in a pan of boiling water.
Drain and refresh under cold water until the spears are cold. Then dry with kitchen roll, put in a bowl and toss with 2 tbsp of olive oil and season.
Slice the courgettes very thinly length ways using a mandolin or vegetable peeler. Mine weren't very neatly done!
In a separate bowl, mix the courgettes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season.
Put a frying pan or griddle pan on a high heat for a few minutes until very hot. Cook the asparagus and courgettes in batches, turning after about a minute, until browned. Set aside to cool.
Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the halloumi for 3 minutes or until golden on each side.
Place on kitchen roll to soak up the oil while you make the basil oil.
In a blender blitz the olive oil, a chopped garlic clove, the basil leaves and black pepper until smooth.
Finally mix the vegetables, halloumi and rocket in a bowl and drizzle with the basil oil.
Tuck in and enjoy! We had it with a burger….yum!
This was a really good side - in fact it was so delicious I could have it as a main - the ingredients mix so well together and it tasted so fresh. I love halloumi and this is a great way to enjoy it. A perfect recipe for a summer's day.