I have to pat myself on the back for this one...not only have I managed to get halloumi and bacon in the same dish but I also have the pleasure of calling this creation a salad (thank you Mr Asparagus), alleviating any guilt that the above mentioned ‘salt laden supper’ may have induced.
I have to admit, I’ve had an ever so slight infatuation with haloumi of late. In fact it’s been a wee bit time consuming as my mind has been completely obsessing over ways to incorporate this salty grilled cheese into the majority of dishes I cook. That said, my favourite way to eat haloumi is simply grilled, sprinkled with a tiny bit of salt (yes I tend to gild the lily, a lot) and then drizzled with one of my beloved dressing...current dressing front runner is a concoction of beetroot, lime and yoghurt (thank you for your inspiration Miss Nigella Lawson). And when I am in the mood for a little chilli heat I have been known to fry up a batch of haloumi and serve with a homemade chilli dressing, the punch in the face saltiness provided by the haloumi marries well with the heat of the chilli and to balance it a little further I add honey to the chilli sauce...salty, sweet and hot...mmmm.
Ok, so back to today’s creation. As mentioned yesterday I had a great day at the food market, blueberries were collected as well as multiple bunches of asparagus. When I opened the fridge door this morning I summoned every ounce of self discipline to successfully bypass the blueberry sour cream cake without even one finger swipe of the icing in order to retrieve the bunches of asparagus from the crisper. Staring at the beautiful spears of green asparagus on the chopping board I knew I wanted to create a sinful salad with the help of my friends bacon and halloumi.
This salad is a breeze to prepare, I started by roasting the olive oil dressed asparagus spears and bacon in the oven for 12 minutes...I love cooking bacon in the oven, it beats cleaning an oil splattered stove top and I find the bacon cooks more evenly without too much charring. Meanwhile I threw together the mint vinaigrette; in a small jar I placed chopped mint leaves, mustard, honey, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, popped on the lid and shook until combined. I then took my teeny tiny fry pan and placed it over medium heat and fried the star of my dish a.k.a the haloumi until golden and crispy. To serve I place the roasted spears of asparagus on a plate, topped with the bacon and golden haloumi, scattered over the hazelnuts and finally drizzled with a little of the mint vinaigrette. Lovely. Enjoy K X.
Asparagus, Bacon & Halloumi Salad with Mint & Hazelnut Vinaigrette
8 asparagus spears, woody ends removed
4 rashers bacon
8 slices haloumi
Handful of mint leaves, finely chopped
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil (plus extra)
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp mustard (Dijon or wholegrain)
1 tsp honey
Large handful of hazelnuts, roasted skins removed
Lemon wedges, to serve
Preheat oven to 180° and line an oven tray with baking paper. Place asparagus and bacon on oven tray and drizzle the asparagus with a little olive oil, season. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the bacon is golden.
Meanwhile, place mint leaves, olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and honey in a small jar and shake until combined.
Heat a fry pan over medium heat, fry the haloumi on each side until golden and crispy (usually 1-2 minutes). Remove from pan and set aside.
To assemble the salad: place asparagus on plate, top with bacon and haloumi, drizzle with vinaigrette and sprinkle over hazelnuts. Serves 2.