Salad for salad dodgers

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Oh how naive I am. The builder said three weeks to replace the floor in the kitchen and do a few other things. And I believed what we were told. The kitchen was duly emptied, boxed up and piled high in every other corner of the flat. De-camping to the utility room meant we have had no cooker since then. Hence the flurry of restaurant reviews. But my jeans are now too tight and the wedding diet has to start somewhere. By starting this early I figure I can still eat out a plenty, fall off the wagon several times and not give up boozing completely (yes I know that’s the quickest way to loose weight but can any of you see me giving up wine…..?).

And, while the sun is blazing (pah, whatever) summery salads are good for the body and good for the mind. I do now have limited cooker use so there is a little cooking involved but otherwise it’s just chucking it onto a board like-wot-Jamie-does….. This is a great recipe to use up leftover chicken and, if you’re lucky enough to have a garden, the bounties that are appearing – I currently have an excessive amount of courgettes and kale.

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3 courgettes
6 or 7 stalks of kale
2 slices of bread
2 chicken thighs, cooked and cooled (I used leftovers)
3 tbsp good olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
1 or 2 balls of mozzarella – depends how greedy you want to be
10 Pomodorino tomatoes
Juice of half a lemon
Salt & Pepper

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170 and heat 3 inches of salted water in a saucepan
  • I like my croutons cubed so at this point cut the bread I to cm squares. If you like a more rustic look just rip the bread. Place it on a baking tray and drizzle the oil over it with a good grind of salt and pepper. Pop in the oven for 15 mins or until they are crunchy and just browning. Keep an eye on it though the croutons will go from underdone to burnt as soon as you turn away from them
  • Wash the kale and pull it from the stalks. Roughly chop it – not too small this is a salad. Carefully plop it into the boiling water and turn the heat down to medium
  • Check the croutons
  • While the kale is cooking, give the chopping board a wipe. Wash the courgettes. Using a potato peeler shave them into long ribbons and artfully spread them all over the board
  • Drain the kale and spread that over the top of the courgettes
  • Tear the chicken up into bitesized pieces and place on top of the kale and courgette
  • Rip up the mozzarella and put on top of the rest
  • Halve the tomatoes and add them to the salad
  • Tip over the croutons
  • Drizzle over some olive oil and the lemon juice taking care not to loose any pips into the salad

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This is an almost guilt free salad and it looks enormous so you think you’re eating a lot more than you are due to the courgette ribbons. And, unless you are as greedy as me; you’ll have a pot left for lunch the next day.

 

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