This Asparagus, Fried Halloumi, and Orzo Salad makes a zesty and delicious side dish for summer menus.
Asparagus, Fried Halloumi, and Orzo Salad
Makes 6 to 8 servings
- 2½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 2 pounds thin fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces
- 1½ cups orzo, cooked according to package directions
- ½ cup packed fresh mint leaves
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 16 ounces Halloumi cheese, sliced ¼ inch thick
- Garnish: lemon zest
- In a large saucepan, bring 6 inches water and 2 teaspoons salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Add asparagus; cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately drain asparagus, and transfer to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Drain, and pat dry.
- In a serving bowl, toss together asparagus, cooked pasta, and mint.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoons oil, lemon zest and juice, mustard, pepper, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt; stir into asparagus mixture.
- In a medium saucepan, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add cheese; cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Top salad with hot Halloumi. Garnish with zest, if desired.
Kitchen Tip: Fresh mozzarella may be used if Halloumi is unavailable.
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