This article was originally published by The Mennonite

June recipe: Grilled Asparagus with Tomato Basil Vinaigrette

The Hungry Hounds is the food blog of Paul and Rebecca Shetler Fast, Country Representatives for Mennonite Central Committee in Haiti.

When the first delicate stalks of asparagus start at appearing at farmers markets in the spring, we get a little nuts for asparagus and eat it obsessively. We like to grill a crisp bunch on a hot grill, along with cherry tomatoes, a pungent cheese, and drizzle the chunky spears with a fresh summer-inspired tomato and basil vinaigrette.

Yield: Serves 4 as a side


  • 1 pound asparagus, tough, woody stems removed
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound halloumi cheese, cut into thin slices (substitute queso blanco)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup Tomato Basil Vinaigrette


  1. Preheat grill on high for 10 minutes. Clean the grill well to minimize sticking.
  2. Toss the trimmed asparagus, cherry tomatoes and halloumi in a large bowl with oil, garlic, salt & pepper.  Make sure to coat evenly.
  3. Cook the asparagus, cherry tomatoes and halloumi on the medium-high heat grill, perpendicular to the grill grates. Cook, covered, for 3-5 minutes, turning once, but largely leaving the vegetables and cheese undisturbed in order to achieve maximum color.
  4. Remove from grill and serve hot with tomato basil vinaigrette on top or on the side.

Tomato Basil Vinaigrette

Yield: About 1 cup


  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes (approximately 15)
  • 12 basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Combine all the ingredients (tomatoes, basil, vinegar, oil, salt, garlic and pepper) in a blender or food processor. We like ours smooth, but experiment to find your preferred texture.
  2. Serve within 24 hours as a vinaigrette or sauce on salad, fish, meat, vegetables. Keep covered and refrigerated until use.


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