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Roast Mediterranean Vegetables and Haloumi with Basil Pesto.

Roasted Mediteranean vegetables on the braai

Origin: Roasting is most definitely my favorite way of preparing vegetables as the process seems to bring out their defining flavors and caramelizes all the natural sugars resulting  in a sweet, meaty flavor.

Choosing different vegetables and combining them with various herbs and spices will create a different recipe and theme each time.

Jeanne Horak-Druiff’s  char grilled asparagus, courgette and haloumi salad inspired me to do some Greek fire-food again, a way of cooking that we South African’s know well, and so here is my version of fire roasted vege with char grilled haloumi cheese.

As the seasons change I like to do these on the ‘braai’ as salads seem too summery and for this Father’s Day I plan on adding them to my home-made burger braai. (click here for the menu and recipes.)

To make a delicious vegetarian meal, allow the veges and haloumi to cool slightly and add to a green salad. Voila! Healthy meal in an instant.

Roasted Meditteranean Vegetables and Haloumi with Basil Pesto. ( serves 8 )

Asparagus tips ( 1 punnet)

Courgettes (1 punnet )

Bringal (1 large)

Red/orange/yellow/green Peppers (one of each colour)

250 g  haloumi cheese (the Woolworths haloumi holds it’s shape the best.)

125 ml (half cup) olive oil

2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons Maldon salt

ground pepper

250ml home-made basil pesto mixed with an extra 50 ml olive oil

Method:

  1. Steam the asparagus tips for 2 minutes and set aside to cool.
  2. Slice the haloumi cheese into fairly thick slices. (About ½ cm will do.)
  3. Slice the courgettes and bringal into thin lengthway slices.
  4. De-seed the peppers and cut them into four lengthway pieces. (if you are going to be cooking the vegetables on the open fire, be sure to cut them big enough that they do not fall through the grid to the hot coals below.
  5. Place all the prepared vegetables including the asparagus  into a bowl and rub with the olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  6. Char grill  for 15 – 20 minutes over a medium open fire,turning until cooked and set aside on a platter to cool. (The peppers will take the longest to cook.) Grill the haloumi for a few minutes on the fire until it begins to develop a lovely char grilled crust. Remove and set aside for serving.
  7. On a circular platter, layer the vegetables in a criss cross way taking care to mix them around so that when helping themselves each guest will get alittle of each veg.  Layer the haloumi inbetween the vegetables and dress with a home-made pesto. (click here for My best Pesto Recipes.)

NOTE: The vegetables and haloumi cheese may be char grilled on a griddle pan on the hob. The cooking time may vary.

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