Chargrilled Asparagus with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Haloumi

June 13, 2011


You need to make this as soon as you possibly can. I’m not normally that urgent about these things but this salad is not messing around. You need it in your life, in your summer dinner rotation, in your dinner parties, but most importantly you need it in your belly now.

Who knew that long-roasting cherry tomatoes could produce such magic? Not I. I’m not talking 30 minutes here either, I’m talking an hour of roasting action until they start to dry out – the sweetness and tartness all at once is incredible. Try it for this salad and you’ll probably want to try it in five others. I was not aware that cherry tomatoes could be addictive.

Roasted Tomatoes

Now I know.

We all know about barbecuing/grilling/chargrilling asparagus though, correct? That there is grilling 101. If you haven’t drizzled olive oil and sprinkled salt and pepper on some asparagus and thrown it on the bbq for fifteen minutes, you have been missing something that can taste better than the most satisfying burger.*

*For the record, Dan strongly disagrees with this statement. Whatever.

Put your hand up if you knew that cheese existed which you could put ON the bbq. Without it melting. Uh huh. Are you feeling as excited as I was? You could use haloumi or manouri cheese (both Greek and somewhat hard to find in the U.S. – at least in Minneapolis – but more prevalent in the U.K.) or you could opt for that stuff they sell at Whole Foods if there’s one near you.


Here’s the point: seek this stuff out. Ask if your local shops carry it because trust me, you want to try it. It’s chewy but soft and melty in your mouth. The bbq will make lovely grill marks on it and give it a slight charred taste. Phenom.

When all of the beautiful elements of this salad come together, their sum is surely greater than their parts, which is an impressive achievement considering those delicious, flavour-bursting parts.

Crisp, chargrilled asparagus, bright, sweet cherry tomatoes, fresh arugula {rocket}, and chewy, soft, rich haloumi cheese. Like I said, you need it in your belly now.

Roasted tomato haloumi asparagus salad 650

Chargrilled Asparagus with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Haloumi
adapted from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook


  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small bunch of asparagus
  • 6-7 ounces haloumi cheese (or other grillable cheese)
  • 2 large handfuls of arugula
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt and cracked black pepper

For a simple dressing:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp grain mustard
  • salt and pepper to season


  1. Preheat the oven to 340F (170C). Slice cherry tomatoes in half and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet with the skins facing down. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the cherry tomatoes in the oven and let them roast for 50 minutes or up to an hour, depending on how dry you’d like them.
  3. As they are roasting prepare your other ingredients. Snap the hard ends off of your asparagus and toss the spears with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Slice cheese, making sure it’s large enough not to fall through the gaps in the bbq (you can always slice it smaller later).
  5. Remove cherry tomatoes from the oven and leave to cool. Fire up the bbq and grill the asparagus for about 15 minutes or until tender but still crisp, turning once. Grill the cheese for about 3 minutes per side.
  6. Arrange the arugula, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, and cheese in layers on a flat serving plate. Drizzle with a combination of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, grain mustard, salt and pepper. Serves four as a side dish or two as a hearty dinner with bread on the side.
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