This beautiful salad of Chargrilled Asparagus with Feta and Mint is full of bright flavours. The bright, slightly acidic tomatoes complement the smoky, tender asparagus while the feta adds creaminess and the toasted almond slivers add crunch. This quick and easy salad is a delicious side dish or light, meat-free meal. Fresh asparagus is a delicious spring delicacy – enjoy!
Wash the asparagus and remove the woody ends. – See Note 4Preheat a barbecue or chargrill on medium-high heat.
Add the asparagus to a large plate and drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the asparagus. Rub into the asparagus with your fingers. Season the asparagus lightly with salt and pepper. Cook the asparagus on the grill for approximately 5 minutes, turning several times or until the asparagus is lightly charred and tender but still crisp. Transfer to a large plate. Cut into thirds, approximately.
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Add them to the plate on which you oiled the asparagus. Toss with the remaining oil or add another teaspoon of olive oil if necessary.Place on the barbecue or char-grill flesh side down to get some grill marks. Grill for about a minute. Remove to the platter with the asparagus.
Toast the slivered almonds in a dry pan, being careful not to burn.
Use a zester to remove a few strips rind from lemon. Alternatively, use a vegetable peeler to peel rind from the lemon and then cut the rind into very thin strips.
Whisk lemon juice and 1 ½ tablespoons of the oil in a small bowl. Add sugar and Dijon mustard. Season well with salt and pepper.Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Sprinkle with lemon zest, feta, mint and almonds. Serve immediately.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Sprinkle with lemon zest, feta, mint and almonds. Serve immediately.
Whilst this may seem a small amount of oil, it will be sufficient to coat the asparagus. Too much oil on the grill will cause it to smoke excessively.
You could use pan-fried halloumi as a lovely alternative to feta.
To toast the almonds, add the slivers to a small frying pan. Do not add oil. Heat the frying pan over low-medium heat, stirring or tossing the almonds until they are a light golden colour. Remove the almonds to a small bowl to ensure that they do not go on cooking in the frying pan.
The end of the asparagus is almost always woody and tough and needs to be removed. To do this, hold the end of the asparagus with both hands, between your thumb and forefinger, and bend until it breaks. The tough, woody end will automatically break off leaving you with the tender part.