With the Festive Season right around the corner, I find myself thinking about easy, quick and delicious side dishes to serve with the abundance of grilled meats we usually have in this time. As we celebrate Christmas in a country that is hotter than hot in December, it makes sense that most of the celebrating will happen around a fire ready to braai lamb chops, steaks and boerewors. And even though the meats might be the main attraction, a braai just isn’t a braai without good side dishes. The average braai always has a mixed salad and a potato bake of some kind but I’m trying to venture further and try new ideas and combinations.
While asparagus is in season, I try to use it in everything I can. This salad makes good use of the wonderful flavour of asparagus and paired with the salty, squeaky Haloumi and the garlicky-lemon dressing, it’s really allowed to shine. This is not really a salad you can make too far in advance as you need to serve the Haloumi straight out of the pan but you can definitely grill the asparagus before-hand and set it aside until you are ready to serve. I love this served with braaied lamb chops and if you have a sea view, all the better!
- 500g (17.64 ounces) asparagus spears, washed and trimmed (ends snapped off)
- 250g (8.82 ounces) good quality haloumi, sliced into 1cm (0.39 inches) thick slices
- baby lettuce leaves
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- ½ cup olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- Grill the asparagus in a hot griddle pan or on the braai until charred and just cooked. Remove and set aside.
- Fry the haloumi until golden brown on all sides.
- Place the asparagus and haloumi on top of the baby lettuce.
- To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients and serve with the salad.