Asparagus, Fried Halloumi, and Orzo Salad

Asparagus, Fried Halloumi, and Orzo Salad in a white bowl

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
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. In a serving bowl, toss together asparagus, cooked pasta, and mint.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoons oil, lemon zest and juice, mustard, pepper, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt; stir into asparagus mixture.
  4. 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.
Notes
Kitchen Tip: Fresh mozzarella may be used if Halloumi is unavailable.

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May June 2022 cover of Southern Lady