Saturday, 4 August 2012
Composed Warm Chicken Salad with Beetroot, Fennel and Orange
I love salads where you distribute everything on a big platter, pour over the dressing and dig in - everything gets well blended as you dish up, and you can layer the dish with texture, colour and flavour. This was a great example with a base of Batavia lettuce leaves, sliced freshly-boiled beetroot, shaved fennel and fillets of orange. Topped with chunks of chicken marinated in lemon, rosemary and garlic, then quickly sauteed, and little croutons of bread sizzled to golden deliciousness in olive oil, and then all dressed with a vinaigrette made from the orange juice, you end up with a vibrant and healthy supper. You can vary this so much, and I could have used smoked or grilled mackerel, poached salmon, chunks of good tinned or fresh tuna, strips of juicy steak, chunks of fried chorizo, garlic prawns, or feta or goats' cheese for a veggie option, instead of the chicken. Use your imagination and whatever is best in the market and in season. Just think about the overall colour and make sure there is textural variation as well to keep things interesting. As well as crunch from croutons, you can get the same effect from cucmber or red pepper, and spring onion adds texture and a sharp savour too.