halloumi & baby asparagus

11th August 2010

I found the cutest bundles of baby asparagus the other day, and just had to purchase them.   The next choice was what to do with something so special.  Something simple in flavour and combination.  A quick panfry with a few other ingredients so as not to hide the tenderness of the stalks was needed.  Red capsicum shaved halloumi strips, squeeze of lemon, fresh cracked pepper and a handful of mint leaves all tossed in for a tasty snack to highlight those cute little stalks.

baby asparagus mint & halloumi

Serves 1 – 2


1 bundle of baby asparagus, whole with ends trimmed

½ red capsicum, cut in strips

6 shaved strips of halloumi (vegetable peeler lengthwise)

½ lemon, juiced

fresh cracked black pepper

a handful of fresh mint leaves, torn


1.  In a non-stick pan, pan-fry asparagus for a few minutes.

2.  Add in capsicum strips – pan-fry, tossing for a few minutes more.

3.  Add halloumi strips; when halloumi has browned, add lemon juice, black pepper and let cook for a minute longer, then remove from heat and toss in mint leaves.

Serve as a side dish for two or a tasty snack for one.

Goodness shared from Donna

mango & halloumi salad

23rd December 2009

I know it is the festive season when I receive a crate of home-grown mangoes delivered to my door.  It has become a ritual each year in early December, which also happens to be the mango season in North Queensland, Australia, for Dad to send down a supply of Bowen mangoes.  This type of tree grows in everyone’s backyard in North Queensland, and it is vital that they are picked early before the fruit bats begin their scavenging and hundreds are left to rot on the ground.  The Bowen mango, along with the mess it creates, is a nuisance in North Queensland, however elsewhere it is a treasure.

These treasures ended up on my doorstep and were green upon arrival, but ripened quickly in the 30+ temperatures.  I gave many away, which were accepted warmly.  Mine had to be used quickly, as I was leaving on holiday to Israel.  I tried a variety of ways to fully appreciate their flavour – smoothies, fresh as is, on my morning oatmeal, and in salads.  One particular combination worked very well – mango, halloumi, cherry tomatoes, avocado and rocket.  Sweet, salty, astringent, soothing and bitter flavours all combined in one bowl.  The version in the photos omits the avocado.   A perfect Summer festive salad!

As I am writing this, it is hard to believe that a week or so ago, I was making this salad in the air-conditioned comfort of my house in the scorching heat of a Queensland Australian Summer.  Now, I am on the other side of the world, rugged up on Stacey’s sofa, feeling the warmth of the fire and drinking a sage and mint herbal tea.  So, wherever you happen to end up this festive season, whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hannukah or other religious festivals, Stacey and I send season’s greetings to all.

mango rocket & halloumi salad

Serves 2 – 4


1 mango, diced

125g halloumi, diced in 2cm lengths (quantity to preference)

2 generous handfuls of rocket (arugula)

a handful of cherry tomatoes halved

1 medium avocado, sliced

juice ½ a lemon

cracked black pepper

1 Tbsp olive oil

½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar

½ tsp honey mixed in a little hot water


1.  Pan fry halloumi over medium-high heat.  When brown on one side, turn and add the juice of ½ lemon and cracked black pepper.  Remove from heat when brown, drain on absorbent pepper and set aside to cool slightly.

2.  While the halloumi is frying, toss rocket, mango and tomatoes in a bowl with pepper to taste.  I do not add extra salt as the halloumi is very salty.

3.  Add halloumi and avocado.

4.  Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey.  Toss in the salad.

Serve as a side salad or on own as a light meal.

Goodness shared by Donna

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