Thursday, June 26, 2008

Oh I can't be arsed to cook - cold chicken pesto salad

Summer has finally arrived and the weather has turned sunny and hot. Salad time! My lunch break disappeared in a cloud of smoke today (too much on) and so I rushed around the corner to pick up something quick from my favourite Italian deli. They were selling a rather good chicken salad and, as I de-constructed the recipe in my head, I thought you lot might just like it. It's a very good way of using up any leftovers from sunday chicken dinner - if anyone can eat sunday chicken dinner in this heat!
Here goes:
  1. - Pieces of cold chicken cut off your leftover roast
  2. - Carrots and green beans cooked so they're still crisp and crunchy
  • Put whole lot in a large tupperware.
  • Mix up some olive oil with some pesto and pour over.
  • Chop up some fresh basil and add this.
  • Slice up half a lemon and add.
  • Add a handful of pine kernals.
  • Shake up the whole lot and put the lid on. Leave in the fridge all day so that the pesto, lemon and basil can work its way though the whole lot.

Anyone else got any good mixed salad recipes? It's just too hot to eat anything else at the mo!


CaroleBristol said...

At the moment we are eating a lot of tabbouleh, basically because you can make a load and it lasts all week.

I use bulgur wheat but some people use couscous (which I think is less good). Bulgur is the traditional stodge component.

You just soak it in boiling water till it goes soft.

I add in lots (I mean lots) of chopped parsley and mint, diced cucumber, chopped ripe tomatoes, spring onions, black olives and grated carrots, plus a lot of good olive oil and lemon juice.

I like it served with shredded cos or romaine lettuce and raddichio, cubes of feta and pickled Turkish green chillies (like you get in kebab shops).

It is also good with grilled lamb steaks, minced lamb koftes, grilled chicken and roasted or grilled aubergines and courgettes.

I also like it with prawns mixed into it too.

glasshalfempty said...

For an occasion when you CAN be arsed to cook, at least a bit, here's a lovely summer savoury that I deconstructed from a meal I had in Avignon. Make 5 omelettes (each three eggs), browned both sides. One should be plain; one with added chopped spinach (the frozen bricks work fine, defrosted of course!); one with tomato puree; one with diced mushrooms; one with chopped, fried onion. Put them one on top of the other in a flan dish, and leave overnight in the fridge with a weighted plate on top. Next day, serve as cake slices, giving multi coloured layers (red, green, brown, yellow etc). Looks fab, tastes fab.

CaroleBristol said...

I've had that, glasshalfempty, it's lovely.

Another similar Provencal thing - pain bagnat.

You get a round loaf and slice the top off.

Take out a lot of the crumb from the larger bottom bit.

Line it with slices of marinated sweet peppers and then layer it with slices of hard boiled eggs, griddled aubergines, black olives, capers, marinated mushrooms, tomatoes and anything else that takes your fancy.

Tightly wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge overnight with a heavy weight on top.

You just slice it into wedges.

DarceysDad said...

Just a slight tweak on fp's original post: swap the carrot for feta, and leave out the pine kernels at this stage.
Serve on open foccacia with lots of fresh spinach, and at the last minute dry 'toast' the pine kernels in a dry frying pan.

Never heard of that omelette cake, but am determined to try it asap.

Mnemonic said...

I stole this from the Gourmet Pizza restaurant.

1 Packet mixed salad leaves (M&S Italian is a good starter)
1 avocado, sliced
toasted pine nuts
Parmesan cheese, shavings not powdered.

Mix leaves and avocado, pour over classic French dressing and mix again, sprinkle cheese shavings and toasted pine nuts on top. Add freshly grund aalt and pepper. Eat with wine of choice.

You can add some pesto to the salad dressing for variation.

TonNL said...

Nice variation on fp's Chicken Pesto Salad:

Use smoked mackerel in stead of the chicken, leave out the carrots, add some sherry tomatoes & some roughly cut avocado.

You can turn this one into a fine pastasalad as well!

FP said...

You lot always come up with the goods! Fabulous recipes there, people. And I've obviously been watching waaaay too much football, but it strikes me that the omlette cake could be adapted to the colours of the winning team...?

Just me then.

padre de darce said...

Good idea fp. But if the Germans win, I'm all out of squid ink - tch! Ssoooo ...




Abahachi said...

I've known people come almost to blows over the right ingredients for tabboulleh - no, I didn't start it, but...

@carolebristol: where's the garlic??? Not to mention proper onion finely diced rather than spring onion, and leave out the mint and the black olives and the carrots... Couscous, onion, garlic, tomato, cucumber, olive oil and lemon juice.

If you don't mind about ten minutes cooking: fry bacon, chicken livers and mushrooms, add hefty dose of balsamic vinegar and serve on salad leaves and new potatoes.

nilpferd said...

I'm with Carole on the Tabboulleh, we leave out the carrots and parsley however. Shitloads of mint to compensate.
Other yummy salads: (I buy this one from our Thai local around the corner a lot at the moment)
Deep fried chicken breast with coconut/sesame crust, eaten lukewarm with very cold tossed greens, tomatoes, cucumber, and a spicy satay sauce.
Glass noodle salad is also fine, with coriander, nuts, and chicken/turkey/tofu. Marinade the cooked glass noodles in rice wine, soy, a little chilli, and add oyster sauce and lime juice to taste.
From the romanian corner- cooked green beans (the flat ones) with dill, olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and sauted turkey breast.

TonNL said...

Another quick & very nice one:
Bruschetta con fagioli cannellini (Cannellinni beans on toast)

Ingredients (serves 4):
1 can of cannellini- or butterbeans (à 400 g)
2 cloves of garlic
some fresh rosemary
1–2 spoons of fine balsamico-vinegar
4 spoons extra vergine olive oil
4 thick slices of bread
salt, black pepper

Rinse the beans well under streaming cold water. Cut 1 clove of garlic in very fine pieces. Chop the rosemary in fine pieces as well. Mix the beans with the finely cut garlic, rosemary, olive oil, balsamico vinegar, add salt & black pepper to taste, stir well!

Char grill the pieces of bread on both sides. Rub with a clove of garlic, sprinkle with salt and drizzle with olive oil. Serve topped with the beans mixture.

CaroleBristol said...

Abahachi, my tabbouleh recipe originally comes from Claudia Roden and she doesn't have garlic in hers.

Neither has it ever had garlic in it when I have eaten in Lebanese or Turkish restaurants.

Still, I am sure there are as many recipes as there are cooks, almost.

Abahachi said...

Fair enough, I am of the school of cookery that believes there is very little, Victoria jam sponge aside, that can't be improved by the addition of substantial quantities of garlic. Probably significant that my first encounter with tabbouleh was during kitchen duties on an archaeological dig, when a half-Lebanese vegetarian bawled out a fellow helper for trying to add mint...

ejaydee said...

Surely the answer to everything is more coriander, a forest of coriander!

nilpferd said...

Guys, Guys.
Save your garlic and coriander for a guacamole, add ripe avocado, a little tomato juice, lime juice, chilli to taste. Process until smooth, and chill. Serve topped with coriander leaves and a little roasted sesame oil, with corn chips to dip.

nilpferd said...

..and now I have to get back to our street festival, the Cuban band has just started...

steenbeck said...

Coriander leaves are what we call cilantro, right? If so donds to tons of it.
When it's too hot to cook we go with fresh tomato, fresh mozzarella lots of basil, good olive oil over greens, eaten with good crusty bread, olives if you like them, and I like to make a version of hummus with (instead of tahini) roasted garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne, lemon, olive oil and lots and lots of cilantro.

CaroleBristol said...

My favourite guacamole is;

2 ripe avocadoes
a bunch of coriander
3 or 4 spring onions
3 skinned tomatoes without seeds
salt and pepper
1 green chilli
olive oil
lime juice

Chop the avocadoes and mash with a fork. Mix with diced tomatoes and chopped spring onions and chopped chilli.

Season, add lime and olive oil.

Add the chopped coriander just before serving.

TonNL said...

On the tabbouleh debate: a nice way to spice up your taboulleh (or whatever way you spell it...) is by adding some harissa, the Tunisian red pepper sauce, just be a little bit careful!

Frogprincess said...

Oooh Abahachi, Ejay and me went to the same cookery school!! What house were you in, guys? Nothing cannot be improved by the addition of vast amounts of garlic and or coriander! Next week I shall post my innovative recipe for garlic and coriander victoria sponge. Be afraid, be very afraid... Lovely lovely recipes there - the chicken liver one with balsamic vinegar is also a favourite. I'd stick some red onions in there. Thanks so much for all those ideas.

glasshalfempty said...

Well, to come full circle, I did a big bowl of FP's chicken 'n' pesto salad for friends yesterday, and it was delish. The sliced lemon was the making, as it imbued the whole thing. Oh, and I did the Darce Twist too, with an added handful of toasted pine nuts chucked on top at the moment of serving.
So thanks a mill, FP.

P.S. Here's a simple French dessert (Clafoutis) that works with any summer soft fruit (cherries, apricots, plums, etc). Melt 100g butter and add two eggs. Beat in 100g ground almond, 100g icing sugar, 5g cornflour. Leave 'batter' in fridge for several hours or overnight. Butter a flan dish and cover bottom in fruit. Pour over the batter. Cook for 40 mins at 170degC. Eat warm, not hot, with creme fraiche. Unbelievably good...