Griddling vegetables, like asparagus or courgettes sliced lengthways, not only looks great, but is a wonderful way to inject some charred flavour into them. Compliment this with a garlicky, lemony dressing and some creamy, salty feta cheese and you have something special: salad gold you might say! Sorry…
This is a stupidly quick thing to put together, but it actually looks very posh. It would make a lovely salad for a lunch with friends, or a starter even. My kids intermittently like asparagus, and, between them, they like components of this salad. Saying that, I think of this type of thing as a grown up dish – or maybe I’m putting your children down by saying that? Maybe they are spinach loving munchkins, mad for a bit of greenery? I just know that mine would pick the bits they like and leave the rest, which would be a waste. Still, I just had it for lunch and it was very nice, so I thought I’d share. Dessert, in case you were wondering, was Nutella on toast. Not so posh. (And a good example of why I have put on a little bit of what Adam calls ‘timber’ recently.)
Serves: 2 adults
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 12 minutes
50g feta cheese, crumbled
20 or so good quality, vine ripened cherry tomatoes, halved
50g or so baby leaf spinach
About 10 leaves of mint, finely sliced
1 clove garlic
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juice squeezed
- Snap the woody bits off the bottom of the asparagus stalks, it’ll happen where they naturally want to break.
- Preheat a griddle pan (or a grill or a frying pan) until smoking hot. Toss the spears in a little oil. Griddle for about 7-10 minutes, turning so all sides are charred equally.
- Meanwhile, pound some garlic with a little salt in a pestle and mortar (or crush in a garlic crusher). Don’t be tempted to just chop: when raw garlic is used in a salad it’s important that it’s crushed properly so you don’t come across a chunk of raw garlic, which is too strong and not enjoyable.
- Whisk oil and lemon with garlic to emulsify. Taste and season accordingly.
- Chop the mint leaves and add to the spinach, tomatoes, asparagus. Toss in the dressing. Crumble feta on top. Eat smugly knowing it’s a mega healthy lunch (don’t ruin smugness by following with Nutella on toast!!)