Griddled asparagus with feta and tomatoes

Griddled asparagus with feta and tomatoes

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

 Ingredients: 

200g asparagus

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

Salt

Pepper

Instructions:

  1. Snap the woody bits off the bottom of the asparagus stalks, it'll happen where they naturally want to break. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
  4. Whisk oil and lemon with garlic to emulsify. Taste and season accordingly. 
  5. 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!!)

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