FACT: It’s Friday.
SUBTEXT: A good enough reason to pour yourself a large glass of wine and enjoy some marvelous food.
And that is exactly what I am doing right now.
While listening to the fabulous tunes of Pharrell Williams, I spent my Friday afternoon doing the things I love: a little bit of cooking and a little bit of drinking. With a glass of rosé in my hand, I boogied around the kitchen and conjured up a brilliant vegetarian meal: a large plate of steamed green and white asparagus with a spicy Harissa tomato salsa, chargrilled halloumi and some refreshing tabbouleh.
(Should you be wondering: Yes, I am indeed capable of drinking, dancing and cooking all at the same time, although it is probably for the best that you cannot see what this level of multitasking has done to my kitchen. Read: it’s a mess.)
This dish sums up what summer is all about: fresh ingredients, fresh flavours, fresh you!
The pure flavour of the steamed asparagus is brought to unseen levels of deliciousness with a zingy and spicy tomato salsa. And on top of that, this vegetarian va va voom meal is an explosion of different temperatures. The lukewarm asparagus are doing the cha-cha with hotter than hot halloumi and are dancing the merengue with cold and fresh salsa and couscous. Va va voom indeed!
Since I’m in such a happy mood (“ ♫ like a room without a roof ♪ ”), I think I will shut up and return to my bottle of rosé.
Ingredients (serves 3):
For the tabbouleh:
- 250gr couscous
- 5 dried apricots
- 1 orange pepper, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh mint
- 4 tbsp fresh coriander
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp sumac
For the asparagus:
- 10-15 white asparagus
- 10-15 green asparagus
- 400gr halloumi cheese, cut into slices
- 4 San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp harissa
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander
- Cook the couscous according to the instructions on the package. Let it cool completely before adding the other ingredients.
- Once cooled, stir in the chopped pepper and chopped apricot. Add the vinegar and olive oil. Stir well.
- Season with salt and pepper and add the cumin and sumac. Stir in the fresh herbs.
- Taste! (Add extra olive oil, vinegar or seasoning if necessary)
- Meanwhile, clean the asparagus and steam them until al dente. Let them cool slightly before serving.
- Deseed the tomatoes and cut them into fine chunks. Transfer to a large bowl together with the chopped onion. Stir in the harissa, the olive oil and vinegar and season with salt and finally, stir in some fresh coriander.
- Fry the halloumi slices on a hot hot hot (!) griddle.
- Don’t forget that glass of wine!