Spring is here! Nothing can possible spoil my mood, especially not now that spring salads are on the menu. The air is warmer, the birds are singing, the buds are blooming. It’s a whole changing landscape and it’s beautiful. The snow is gradually melting away, with now only the very shady, sheltered parts of the landscape still showing the marks of winter. The rivers are still frozen on the edges, but they, along with the sea nearby, are now thawing out for the most part. I can go outside to see brilliantly blue skies, much like this.
Fluffy, wispy clouds hang in the air – it’s a good time to be alive.
The stores are getting a whole bunch of new things. For the things they already had, the prices are tumbling. I saw strawberries the other day for about 7 SEK a pack. That’s about $1. That’s not what I’m interested in though. What I’m after is the veg. Fresh, green asparagus, huge bags of rosy red radishes, new potatoes, plump red bell peppers, green beans, lettuces and other salad leaves, like baby red swiss chard… all going for great prices. No, it’s not locally produced, but that would be pretty hard up here, since you still can’t really grow anything at this time of year. And so my produce probably comes from about four different countries and is about as far from environmentally-friendly as you can get, but allow me this small pleasure after this winter!
I saw all these beautiful things and I knew what I wanted to make. What else, but a spring salad? I really wanted everything to shine, and I didn’t want to go nuts with a dressing either. I wanted the gorgeous colours and individual flavours to smack you on the tongue when you eat it, so I opted for a very simple drizzle of oil and a generous squeeze of lemon juice to tie it all together.
I do love my sauces though, and after going out for a pizza with my wife the other day which had seafood and smoked aioli on top (seriously… it was very good!) I’ve been hankering after some more aioli ever since, so I figured I’d serve some up with this. It was so good – as someone who’s really obsessed with halloumi cheese as well, that was just the proverbial icing on the cake.
One fantastic meal – and vegetarian to boot!
Enjoy everyone! I’ll be back soon.
Spring Salad with Asparagus, Halloumi, and Homemade Aioli
For the salad2 Red Peppers
- 600 g New Potatoes
- 300 g Halloumi
- 250 g Asparagus
- 200 g fresh Green Beans
- 200 g Radishes
- 100 g Baby Chard
- 1 Red Onion
- 4 tsps Sunflower / Canola Oil
- 1 tsp Flaked / Kosher salt
For the salad dressingJuice from one Lemon
- 3 tbsps Olive Oil
- 2 tsps freshly ground Black Pepper
For the Aioli1 Egg Yolk
- 2 cloves of Garlic minced
- Juice from half a Lemon
- 1 tsp Salt
- ~200ml Sunflower or Canola oil
- Start off by making the aioli - Add the minced garlic, lemon juice and salt into a large bowl with the egg yolk and whisk together well. Drizzle in the oil very slowly, whisking vigorously all the time until the aioli reaches a good thick consistency. You may need to add a bit more, or less oil.
- Next, place the red peppers under a hot grill or broiler for about 10 minutes, turning regularly until the skin is blackened and charred. Remove from the grill and set aside to allow to cool.
- Place the potatoes on to boil in a large, covered pot of water. While they're boiling, heat 2 of the 4 teaspoons of oil in a large frying pan on the stove. Cut the halloumi into good chunks and then fry them in the hot oil on both sides until golden brown.
- Set the cooked potatoes and halloumi aside and then heat the remaining 2tsps of oil in the frying pan. Cut off the woody parts from the asparagus stalks, and slice the spears at an angle. Trim the ends from the green beans and then fry them for a couple of minutes. Add in a drizzle of the lemon juice for the salad dressing and continue frying for another 30 seconds or so before removing. Place the asparagus and green beans into a large salad serving bowl.
- Quarter the potatoes and add into the salad bowl along with the halloumi. Wash the chard and radishes. Chop the radishes into quarters and add into the salad bowl as well, before peeling the red onion, slicing finely and adding to the salad bowl.
- Peel away the skin from the red peppers and remove the seeds and stalk. Slice the flesh into long strips and add into the salad bowl.
- Drizzle over the olive oil for the dressing and add the lemon juice. Finally, sprinkle over the black pepper and salt for the salad. Mix everything together well with your hands, massaging the oil and lemon juice into the salad ingredients.
- Serve immediately along with the aioli, and preferably a nice piece of fresh bread.
Jess @ whatjessicabakednext says
This salad looks right up my street- super delicious! Love grilled halloumi as well and that aioli sounds just divine! 🙂
Thank you Jess! I love grilled halloumi too – isn’t it SO addictive? So pleased to finally live in a country where I can actually buy it now, haha!
Eva Taylor says
We had asparagus yesterday too but we just BBQd them as a side dish for our Easter dinner. It’s such an iconic spring vegetable, but sadly we are so late with Spring over here that we’re still getting them from Peru or Mexico! I usually like to buy the thinner stems, I find they are far less woody and have a great snap when prepping them. We had the left over asparagus sautéed with an onion and mini tomatoes in a crêpe with goats cheese…it was delicious! The halloumi sounds like a wonderful addition too! It looks like we’re all on the same page about spring, we’re aiming to have 21°C today, yay!
Snap, Eva. I bbq’d the asparagus that I served with my leg of lamb yesterday as well and added some crumbled feta, lemon zest and juice to it.
I was going to pick up some tzatziki for the leftover lamb (and aspargus) and put it in a flatbread wrap but crepes sound good too. Or the corn tortillas in a my fridge for a more Tex-Mex inspired meal. But I’d need some salsa, or salsa verde. So many great ideas.
Wouldn’t you believe that we’ve had some snow forecast for this week. I’m hoping it won’t show it’s ugly head. That would be… “annoying”.
I’m usually not too fussy about the thickness of the asparagus stems I get I must say. I suppose thinnest is best, although if you have a lot of stem left over, peeling it and slicing / stir-frying it makes it absolutely edible, and delicious!
Shashi @ RunninSrilankan says
I want this salad like now! You did good – this salad is so colorful and flavorfull!
Glad spring has finally arrived in your neck of the woods – winter has been crazy this year!
We had spring for 4-5 days before temps plummeted to below freezing – we are thawing back out -again – heres hoping it lasts 🙂
Mm, I could definitely eat this again – very satisfying! We’ve got some snow forecast for this week, but I’m hoping it won’t appear… that would be just sad!
You’ve got a beautiful salad there, so colourful. And the chunks of cheese that doesn’t melt during grilling makes me want to dig right in.
Mm, halloumi! Have you tried it before… I’m not sure if we spoke about it before. God I love that stuff… could eat it every day.
I’ve never tried halloumi, though I’d like to.
[email protected] Chef in disguise says
What a beautiful salad! I posted my favorite spring salad today too and it had halloumi in it as well 🙂 but mine was based around fresh oregano. Can’t wait to try your recipe Charles because I have a bag of new potatoes from my parents’ garden and this salad will be the perfect way to use them!
Oh, nice – I’ll have to go and check yours out! Fresh oregano sounds like a gorgeous addition too, though halloumi would always be the main star for me. I love it so much!
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
Gorgeous spring salad, I love the asparagus and halloumi!
Thanks Laura – me too!
Anneli Faiers says
Stunning! I just want to dive in. Such glorious colours and ingredients. Wish I could lay my hands on halloumi here. I do love that cheese… But I am sure I could find a nice brebis to add instead. Not at all the same, but tasty none the less.
Oh yeah, it was my biggest annoyance in France. We knew someone who said they found it at a cheese counter in a covered marketplace in Versailles (back when we used to live next to Versailles), but we never able to confirm or deny that claim ourselves! Bit far from you too alas!
Abbie @ Needs Salt says
This salad looks awesome! I am loving all the colors and flavors going on here.
Thank you Abbie, and thank you for stopping by!
Hotly Spiced says
After your very long and extremely drawn-out winter, it doesn’t bother me a bit where you get your Spring produce. I can tell you’re very excited about the change of seasons and I would be too. What a gorgeous looking salad. I’m away on a farm at the moment and I’m just wondering if I should take the drive along the dirt road to town to buy what I need to make this. It would go perfectly with the steaks I’ve got put aside for tonight’s dinner. Love how simple the dressing is and how it has halloumi in it – my most favourite cooking cheese! xx
I think grilled chunks of halloumi are one of the most magical foods in the world! So good… chewy, yet creamy, salt and filling… mmm.
Hope you had a nice time away on the farm!
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says
When I was growing up in Maine, we didn’t have fresh vegetables in the winter other than those that would store well in the cellar like carrots, potatoes, winter squash etc. Everything was frozen or preserved or in tins.
I remember springtime when the first fresh veggies hit the shelves. They’d come from Florida but nobody cared.
Wonderful salad and I’m the same way about aioli.
Oh I can imagine the feeling of rushing for those veggies when they come. Must have been a fantastic feeling! How difficult it must have been for people 100 or more years ago. Think about up here in the north… preserved fish and potatoes every day all winter long… yikes!
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
I know how you feel Charles, about being exciting that spring has finally arrived. I’ve got a man coming over tomorrow to till my garden in New Hampshire for me now that the ground has completely thawed. Your salad sounds wonderful and had to be so tasty…who cares where the fresh veggies came from, it is just nice to have them. 🙂
Couldn’t agree more! Of course it’s nice to buy local though, so I’m looking forward to when things are a bit warmer and we can get some “Swedish” produce. Swedish strawberries are quite a big deal apparently, so it’ll be nice to have those in a few months!
Happy spring Charles! This salad looks fabulous – the perfect warm weather dinner. You’re going to have so much fun with each new season discovering all that the stores will have to offer. I can’t wait to hear about everything you find and see what you come up with (especially all of these new berries you mentioned a few posts ago). 🙂
Thank you Kristy! Wouldn’t you believe we have some snow forecast for this week, but hopefully it will stay away, especially since tomorrow is “Valborg”, the evening when everyone grills sausages (not sure why… but it’s the day before the May Day bank holiday, when traditionally lots of people march to protest something).
Gourmet Getaways says
What a delicious way to serve a salad. I love healthy tasty food so this dish is right up my alley. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks GG – it was a gorgeous salad, very well received by all!
Holly | Beyond Kimchee says
What a colorful salad! Perfect for a beautiful spring day. Asparagus and halloumi sounds so good together.
Thanks Holly – I could replace everything in the bowl with just halloumi actually, I love it so much, but the other ingredients were very good too!
Shu Han says
Ah it’s been a while since I’ve commented (again). Nice to be back though and seeing ALL. THAT. ASPARAGUS. People go mad for asparagus here- you should know Charles! Some are sacrilegious, just steamed with melted butter– pure unadulterated asparagus-ness. I, on the other hand, am loving all these fun ideas I’m getting from you and the last I just read, Sissi. Love all these colours going on on one plate. Definitely speaks of spring.
p.s. Happy Easter to you two and the little one!
Thanks Shu – I made something a while back which consisted of sliced up asparagus, stir-fried with chopped almonds – that was really good, can totally recommend it. As Sissi from WithAGlass said recently – having just steamed asparagus with some sauce blobbed on top all the time??? It can be a little boring after a while, so it’s nice to be more adventurous!
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com says
Oh my, Charles, that gorgeous salad is a party in a bowl! With a few ingredients I seldom put in a salad — and now I’m asking myself “Why is that?!”
I think it really came together well – reading this post is actually making me hungry again, lol!
[email protected] says
It’s finally spring!!! The sun feels radiant and the green is alive. The salad is a perfect salute to it, thank you for posting this.
Thanks Minnie! I hope you have a chance to try it – I do recommend it!
Coffee and Crumpets says
I think the haloumi obsession is a British thing because I love that stuff too. It’s not easy to find here and when I can find it, it’s ridiculously priced and I won’t buy it. Colorado is the same when it comes to produce. Only thing locally sourced right now is some spinach and some potatoes. All our stuff is imported too from California and South America, like you said, not environmentally friendly at all, but you got to eat something more than potatoes! This is a lovely salad and I love potatoes in salad, makes it more filling and stops the children from rummaging in the fridge again so soon.
Ah, yeah – it’s not the most cheap cheese ever sadly, but it’s worth paying a bit extra for. Too bad the blocks are so small… they should make them TEN TIMES THE SIZE, MUAHAHA!
Agree about the potatoes in the salad – it’s a great way to bulk it up a bit, and if you add on some bread too then it’s just great!
Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says
I miss fluffy, whimsical clouds (truly, so beautiful) and you’re right, spring is easy on the mood :). Sounds like you are enjoying life and your new environment Charles. How wonderful for you and the whole family to have transitioned so comfortably. What a gorgeous salad! So fresh looking and colourful too. I’m always amazed by how something as relatively simple as aioli can transform an entire dish. I had a breakfast sandwich in LA back in January at an unpretentious little spot — took one bite of the sandwich and literally found myself levitating — *so* unimaginably delicious. I demanded to know what was going on ;-). The magic ingredient? The Chef’s homemade Aioli!!
Oh yeah! The smoked aioli I had recently… I want that! Unfortunately I was too lazy to smoke the aioli or grill it even, but next time! It’s amazing stuff though isn’t it?! When you eat a good one and you’re like “whoa!”. That sandwich you had sounds amazing – making me hungry!
A perfect spring salad!! Wonderful ingredients, a very simple dressing and what an aioli! I’ve never thought of serving a salad like this with aioli. What a great idea! I keep seeing Halloumi, but I have yet to try it. Definitely need to find some. That picture of spring is quite a bit different than your winter pictures. 🙂
Thanks MJ! You HAVE to try some halloumi… please, for me! Go out today and get some… I swear you won’t regret it. Be sure to grill or fry it though. It’s just amazing stuff!
Lovely salad! The color is gorgeous!
I see… this is where you live…wow really nice. I’d like to take a walk on that country road.
It’s definitely a lot nicer to wander around now all the ice and snow has gone! I feel lucky to be living here… the air seems so fresh and clean all the time!
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
Happy Spring to you! It’s time to stock up your recipes/photos for a long winter months. Just kidding. Enjoy the warmer weather, and it looks like you already had a nice spring salad. Looks delicious! Love asparagus in the salad, and gotta check out your aioli!
Haha, you know, I had considered that! Making sure I have a big stock of recipes with natural light in the photos isn’t a bad idea!