Recipe: Fantastic meal-sized salads

RUTH PRETTY
Last updated 05:00 29/05/2012
salad
PHIL REID/Fairfax NZ

ANYTHING BUT BORING: Two different dressings add to the flavour of this colourful, warm chicken and bacon salad.

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This meal-size, warm salad is lovely for a weekend lunch.

CHICKEN SALAD WITH BACON, CRISPY CROUTONS AND GREEN GODDESS DRESSING

Serves 4-6

Ingredients 24 buttercrunch lettuce leaves

1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped

150g (12) cherry tomatoes, halved

290g (12 rashers) sliced middle bacon, grilled until crispy

3-4 Barbecued Chicken Breasts, sliced

Chervil Dressing

Crispy Herb Croutons

180ml Green Goddess Dressing

4-6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and halved

Place lettuce into centre of four to six flat, pasta-style bowls with cucumber on top. Sprinkle with tomatoes.

Place bacon on salad, top with chicken and drizzle with Chervil Dressing. Sprinkle with Crispy Herb Croutons. Dollop two tablespoons of Green Goddess Dressing on each salad and arrange eggs into salad.

Serve immediately.

BARBECUED CHICKEN BREAST

Serves 4-6

When all the other salad ingredients are ready, cook chicken.

Ingredients

600g-700g (3) corn-fed chicken breasts, skin off, bone out

Rosemary, Lemon and Mustard Marinade

15ml (1 Tbsp) olive oil

1/2 tsp flaky sea salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Lay a plastic bag on chopping board, with a chicken breast on top. Cover chicken with another plastic bag and, using the flat side of a meat mallet, gently pound chicken to approximately 75mm to 1cm thickness. Repeat with all breasts.

Place chicken into a bowl, add marinade and toss together. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat a barbecue flat plate or stovetop flat plate to medium-hot.

Place chicken into a sieve to drain marinade. Discard marinade.

Smear flat plate with oil just to coat. Add chicken, cooking in two or three batches if necessary. Cook on first side for 1 1/2 minutes or until golden brown. Turn over and cook for a further 1 1/2-2 minutes or until juices run clear when pierced with a knife and chicken is golden brown.

Season with salt and pepper. Serve as soon as possible.

ROSEMARY, LEMON AND MUSTARD MARINADE

Makes 40ml

Ingredients

30ml (2 Tbsp) olive oil

1/2 tsp finely chopped rosemary leaves

1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

1/4 tsp Dijon mustard

10ml (2 tsp) balsamic vinegar

Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Store covered in refrigerator for up to one week.

CRISPY HERBED CROUTONS

Makes 65g

Ingredients

3 slices white sandwich bread, crusts removed

30g (3 Tbsp) unsalted butter, diced

50g ( 1/4) onion, finely diced

2 tsp finely chopped thyme leaves

2 tsp finely chopped sage leaves

1/4 tsp flaky sea salt

pinch freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 160C. Cut bread into 7-8mm dice. Melt butter in a heavy-based frypan over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is soft but not browned.

Add thyme, sage, bread, salt and pepper and toss to coat bread in butter, onion and herbs. Spread out in low-sided roasting tray. Place in preheated oven and cook for 12-15 minutes or until bread is golden and crispy. Remove and cool. Store in an airtight container for up to two days.

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CHERVIL DRESSING

Makes 180ml

Verjuice as opposed to vinegar softens and rounds out flavours in a dressing

Ingredients 45ml (3 Tbsp) verjuice

30ml (2 Tbsp) lemon juice

5 capers in brine, rinsed and finely chopped

3/4 tsp flaky sea salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

95ml ( 1/3 cup + 2 tsp) olive oil

2 Tbsp chopped chervil

Place verjuice, lemon juice, capers, salt and pepper into a small bowl and combine. Slowly pour in olive oil while whisking until dressing has emulsified. Stir in chervil just prior to serving.

GREEN GODDESS DRESSING

Makes 430ml

Freeze dressing that is excess to requirements.

Ingredients

1 Tbsp chopped dill

1 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley leaves

1 Tbsp chopped chervil

10 chopped chives

1 avocado, halved, stone removed, peeled and chopped

115g ( 1/2 cup) sour cream

115g ( 1/2 cup) creme fraiche

1 Tbsp mayonnaise

1/2 tsp flaky sea salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

45ml (3 Tbsp) lemon juice

Place all ingredients except for lemon juice into bowl of food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until smooth.

Add lemon juice and pulse to combine. Taste and, if necessary, add more lemon juice. Transfer to bowl, cover and refrigerate for one day or freeze for up to three months.

TIP

Here is a little tip regarding hard-boiled eggs. I like the yolks to be slightly soft and still yellow. Place eggs into a pot of cold water set over high heat, cover and rapidly bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Immediately remove from water and immerse in icy cold water to quickly cool.

- The Dominion Post

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