Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chargrilled Asparagus, Zucchini And Greek Cheese

ottolenghi Chargrilled Asparagus, Zucchini And Greek Cheese Recipe

This recipe, like many others this week, comes from the Ottolenghi Cookbook. Aside from answering my calling of having a vegetable driven week, this cookbook is full of possible dishes I may serve at our annual holiday party. I had 2 sit down dinner parties last year and cooked exclusively from this cookbook. Everybody really enjoyed the food. This year I am doing a single party, less formal but with more food, buffet style.  I think this dish will make the cut - the chargrilled vegetables alone are delicious, but the firm, nutty cheese and fragrant basil oil elevate this dish to a whole new level.

Chargrilled Asparagus, Zucchini And Greek Cheese

350 g cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
140 ml olive oil
24 asparagus spears, woody bases removed
2 zucchinis, cut into very thin slices using a mandolin or a sharp knife
200 g manouri cheese, sliced into 3/4" thick (I can't find manouri but halloumi cheese from Whole Foods is a nice substitute as it also is a grill-able Mediterranean cheese)
25 g arugula
- and for the basil oil
75 ml olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
25 g basil leaves
a pinch of salt
1/4 t fresh ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.  Toss the tomatoes with 3 T olive oil and a little salt and pepper.  Place them skin side down on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.  Roast for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

In a bowl, toss the asparagus with 2 T olive oil and some salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, toss the zucchini with 1 T olive oil and some salt and pepper.

To grill the vegetables heat a ridged griddle pan on high heat or break out your indoor grill. Grill the asparagus and zucchini until you get some char marks on each side (about a minute per side). Remove and let cool. Grill the cheese on the griddle or grill for about 2 minutes per side.  Remove and let cool.

Make the basil oil dressing by pulsing all the ingredients in a food processor.

To assemble the platter, arrange the arugula, vegetables and cheese on a platter.  Drizzle with desired amount of basil oil dressing.

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Source:  Ottolenghi

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