“Summer bodies are made in winter”, so they say. With this in mind, in the last month of winter I started changing my comfort-food habits and began to attempt to eat a little fresher, with more raw vegetables and lean proteins. This salad is an unusual but beautiful combination – anyone who has tasted the marriage of strawberries and balsamic will understand almost immediately what I mean by this salad. It’s savoury and sweet all at once. Deliciously fresh and it evokes the very essence of summer. You can almost smell the coconut lotion and taste the Mojitos 😉
While the original recipe I cut out from a magazine ages ago calls for roast chicken, I decided to make it that much healthier by poaching my chicken breast fillets first. You can do this just in water or stock, but I chose to fancy it up a little and added a peeled, chopped carrot, half an onion, thyme leaves, one crushed clove garlic and a couple of bay leaves before covering it with cold water. Bring to the simmer for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave to one side with the lid on for 15-20 minutes. Add chicken bones and/or stock to the remaining liquid and it makes for a delicious soup.
With your beautifully poached chicken, shred it and prepare your salad.
To serve two, you will need:
- Two chicken breast fillets, poached, cooled and shredded;
- 200g strawberries, hulled and quartered;
- 100g broad beans;
- 30g baby spinach leaves, stems removed;
- 35g slivered almonds, toasted;
- 1/2 cup mint leaves, torn.
For the dressing:
- 62g strawberries;
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil;
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar;
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard;
- salt flakes and cracked black pepper.
For the dressing, combine the ingredients in a medium bowl and roughly crush the strawberries. Mix well. Season with salt flakes and black pepper to taste.
Combine the chicken, spinach, strawberries, broad beans and mint. Scatter over the toasted almonds and drizzle over the luscious red strawberry-balsamic dressing.
Enjoy your weekend, lovelies! Catch you next week for two Japanese reviews and my (finally) successful attempt at Portugese Custard Tarts! xx