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Spring Salad with Asparagus, Halloumi, and Orange-Dijon Vinaigrette

Spring Salad with Asparagus, Halloumi, and Orange-Dijon Vinaigrette
Serves 4
Seasonal greens mixed with crisp, buttery cheese, bitter asparagus, and acidity from the dressing make this a refreshing entrée for sweltering nights. Add a glass of dry, bubbly prosecco, and toast the sunny days ahead.
    1. 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed
    2. 4 ounces halloumi, cut crosswise into 4 slices, each ¼-inch thick
    3. 2 tablespoons pine nuts
    4. 1 head Boston lettuce, washed and torn into large pieces
    5. ½ cup shaved fennel bulb
    6. Zest from ½ orange
    1. ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    2. Juice from 1 orange
    3. 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
    4. 1 tablespoon honey
    5. 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    6. 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
    7. ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
    8. ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
      1. Fill a small saucepan with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, prepare a large bowl of ice water. Cook the asparagus for 1 minute in boiling water, drain, and submerge in ice water. Let chill for 1 minute, then drain, and place in the fridge.
      2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and sauté halloumi 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Cut each piece lengthwise into 4 strips.
      3. Clean the skillet and return to heat. Add pine nuts, and lightly toast for 1 to 2 minutes, being careful to not brown too much. Remove toasted nuts to small bowl to cool.
      1. Place all ingredients in large bowl, and whisk until smooth and well combined.
      1. Place lettuce on large platter, and arrange asparagus, fennel, and halloumi on top. Drizzle with half of the dressing, and garnish with orange zest and pine nuts. Serve additional dressing on the side.
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      Stylist Leslie Orlandini

      Leslie Orlandini is a chef and an accomplished food stylist in print and television. She has been nominated for both James Beard and Emmy awards and is a veteran of thousands of cooking shows and segments. You can learn more about her through her website: http://leslieorlandini.com/

      Photographer Mark Ferri

      Mark Ferri is a graduate of Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, Calif. He believes in a simple, direct approach that captures the natural beauty and appetite appeal of food. Mark celebrates a life-long passion for food by frequently exploring new restaurants in New York and in Europe, and loves to cook and entertain at his home in the Hudson Valley. Learn more about Mark on his website: http://www.markferriphoto.com/

      Wendy Crispell

      Wendy Crispell is a wine and cheese educator based in Brooklyn and the Hudson Valley of New York. When not wandering gourmet markets, she can be found in her country kitchen testing recipes for cheesy dishes and cocktails.

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