Here is a delicious spring and summer dish that can be served on a buffet or for a light supper–best served at room temperature with a glass of rose.
- 3 pts. (3 boxes) cherry tomatoes
- extra-virgin olive oil, about 1/2 cup
- coarse salt
- 2 large bunches green asparagus spears
- 4 large zucchini
- 1 lb. manouri (or haloumi) cheese
- 2 cups arugula (or mixed greens)
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 small bunch basil leaves
To prepare the tomatoes, cut them in half and spread them on a baking sheet. Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes. Let cool.
To prepare the asparagus, trim off the tough ends and blanch the green part in boiling salted water for 4 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with walt.
To prepare the zucchini, cut off the ends of each zucchini and slice them lengthwise about 1/4 inch thin on a mandoline or with a knife. Coat with olive oil and season with salt.
Place a ridged heavy iron pan on high heat for about 5 minutes. Grill the zucchini and asparagus until colored. Remove and let cool.
Slice the cheese in 1/2-inch slices and lightly coat with olive oil. Grill quickly on the hot pan.
To make the basil oil, put the olive oil, garlic, basil and a sprinkling of salt in a blender and process until smooth.
To assemble, arrange the arugula, vegetables, and cheese in layers on a flat platter. Drizzle with as much basil oil as you like. Serves 8 to 12 MSR (Recipe adapted from OTTOLENGHI The Cookbook)