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Grilled asparagus with halloumi

By 25th October 2016 Cook

I would be the first to admit I do love Asparagus, lightly blanched, oiled and grilled there is nothing better.
However, overcooked and underseasoned there’s nothing worse.
I’ve seen that the purple version has become a lot more popular so what’s the difference in flavour?

I have grown both green and purple asparagus. The purple has a milder flavor than the green. The flavor is more similar to the white. Any type can be chilled to produce the white spears. You are basically just keeping the plant from producing any chlorophyll or other plant pigments by keeping it growing in the dark.

Grilled asparagus with halloumi, mandarin dressing and honeyed almonds

(serves 6)

  • 250g haloumi
  • 2 bunches asparagus
  • ½ cup roasted whole almonds
  • juice of 3 mandarins
  •  tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp plain flour
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • microgreens/edible flowers to garnish

Preheat the oven to 180*C. Smash the almonds roughly into large chunks. Place these in a baking tray and drizzle with honey. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the honey begins to caramelise.
Put the juice from the mandarins in a small saucepan and reduce over a medium heat until you have about 4Tbsp of juice. Whisk in the Dijon mustard, 1 Tbsp honey, 1 Tbsp canola oil and the avocado oil. Season the dressing to taste.
Break the bases off the asparagus spears and discard. Blanch the spears in some lightly salted boiling water, then refresh in iced water. Then brush the asparagus with a little canola oil, season with salt and pepper and chargrill either on your BBQ or in a grill frying pan.
Slice the halloumi into ½ cm wide strips, toss in some seasoned flour, then pan fry in canola oil.
Arrange the asparagus and haloumi on serving plates, garnish with the almonds, greens and flowers, and drizzle with a little dressing.