When the weather cools down, and especially at night, salads tend to lose their appeal in favour of more hearty warm dishes. The thought of crisp light cold lettuce just doesn’t grab you like it did on a hot summer night in January (or June depending on which hemisphere you are living in!).
This salad is a great blend of light and crisp, with warm and hearty mixed in. This recipe serves 4.
- 300 g poached chicken breast, sliced thinly *
- 3/4 red capsicum, roasted **
- 4 c freshly cooked brown rice (works best if still warm)
- 1 carrot, julienned and steamed til just cooked
- handful snowpeas, blanched
- handful continental parsley
- 3 T good quality egg mayonnaise
- 2 T balsamic vinegar
- 1 T fresh basil, finely chopped
- 10-12 pecans, cut into 3 lengthways
- 3 T pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 1/2 sm lettuce, torn
Divide lettuce amongst the plates to create a bed. Combine rice, capsicum, carrot, snow peas, mayonnaise, balsamic, parsley (reserving some for garnish) and basil in a bowl. Divide rice mixture over the lettuce beds. Place chicken slices over the rice. Sprinkle pecans and pumpkin seeds over, and top with remaining parsley.
* Poaching brew
I poach about a 3/4 to 1 kg of chicken breasts as a time, so I can use for multiple meals.
- 1 litre chicken stock (or water)
- 1 t tumeric
- 4-5 leaves fresh basil
- 1/3 fresh red capsicum
- 10-12 peppercorns
Place stock mixture over high heat. Add chicken once it is close to a boil, turn heat down to simmer. Cook until just cooked. Chicken breasts are easily overcooked. Leave in liquid until ready to use. Can be poached a day ahead. If doing so, slice chicken and then very gently reheat in a bit of the stock. Strain before adding to salad.
** Roasting capsicums
I do about 3 capsicums at a time. Thinly coat roasting tray with olive oil. Slice 3 cloves of garlic and spread over tray. De-seed capsicum and cut each one lengthways into about 10-12 lengths. Roast on high heat until soft. If desired, remove skin once cool.