Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Asparagus, chickpea and haloumi salad with mustard aioli dressing

I'm posting this salad recipe at the request of my sister in law Marion so she has an easy to find copy when she gets back to Sweden :-)
I made this salad for our Christmas celebrations and it went down really well with everyone at the table.

Asparagus, Chickpea and Haloumi salad.
This volume made to served 15 people.

  • 300 grams of sliced mushrooms
  • 4 bunches of Asparagus
  • 180 grams haloumi cheese (180 grams is just what the block I used weighed)
  • 500 grams of chickpeas (this is the drained weight of either canned, or soaked dry chickpeas)
  • 2 handfuls of mixed lettuce leaves, washed
  • 2 tablespoons of aioli (ready made or see 2 recipe options below)
  • 3 teaspoons of mustard paste (I used a jar of Maille dijon mustard because it has no sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cracked pepper
  • A little vegetable oil for cooking

  1. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus spears and discard. Chop the tender part of the spears into pieces about 5cms long.
  2. Place the sliced mushrooms in a fry pan with the vegetable oil and set to lightly fry.
  3. Add the chopped asparagus a when the mushrooms have started to shrink down and fry for another few minutes till the asparagus spears have just started to go a little tender. You don't want to cook them too much.
  4. Spoon the mushrooms and asparagus into a colander and leave to cool.
  5. While the vegetables are cooling, cut the haloumi into strips about half a centimeter thick.
  6. Fry the cheese strips till they are golden and crispy on each side. Remove from the fry pan and cut each strip into 1/2 centimeter thick slices. Set this aside to cool.
  7. Combine the aioli, mustard, balsamic and cracked pepper and mix well till completely blended.
  8. When you are ready to serve the salad, combine all ingredients in a salad bowl, pouring the dressing in last. If you put the dressing on too early the salad leaves will go limp. Toss the salad well and serve.

Vegan Aioli - 2 methods

Method 1 - cheats aioli
  1. In a blender combine 2 peeled and crushed garlic cloves and 1 cup of vegan mayonnaise.
  2. Blend till combined.

Method 2 - nut based mayonnaise substitute aioli (for mayonnaise, skip the garlic)
  • 1/2 a cup of almonds or cashews (soaked and drained - almonds soak for 8 hours, cashews for 2)
  • 1/2 a cup of water
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed (If you don't want too garlicky, start with 2 cloves)
  • 1/2 a cup of oil
  1. Place all ingredients except the oil into a blender, and blend till smooth. If you have a cheap blender like me, this could take a while and a lot of stopping the blender to scrape everything back down the sides.
  2. With the ingredients in the blender now in a smooth paste, slowly pour in the oil a little at a time, blending between additions, till the aioli is the consistency you want.
  3. Taste and add more garlic or lemon to suit your taste.
Unfortunately I do not have any photos to go with this post. Instead here is a photo of our beagle sitting on our rottweiler. This is what Katie does to Leela, I guess as a kind punishment, when Leela refuses to play with her. Just backs her butt up and sits on her.

Rottweiler bean bag.

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