Created for RSC #10. Different, different, and incredibly easy and quick to make! A fresh-flavoured lunch salad with a real taste surprise! This plate of goodies will wow your friends with your originality! Add continental-type breads and chilled Sauvignon Blanc or an unwooded Chardonnay, and you're queen of your castle!
- 4 cooked skinless chicken breasts
- 10 ounces mixed salad greens (a pillow pack, which is about 300g)
- 8 teaspoons capers, drained
- 1 medium red onion, sweet
- 1⁄2 cup pecans (do not break them up)
- 16 grape tomatoes, red-ripe (about 1/2lb or 250 g)
- 20 pieces mozzarella cheese, bite-sized cubes cut from a block (or use the better-quality mozzarella balls, drained)
- coarse black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons maple syrup (4 teaspoons)
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar or 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 -3 tablespoons fresh basil, very finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt, preferably flaky sea salt
- Use any cooked or roasted breasts, but not strongly seasoned ones. I poached mine in chicken broth.
- Make the vinaigrettes first, which will take you only minutes. Can be made the day before.
- Whisk ingredients for Vinaigrette 1 in a mixing bowl, cover, and leave. Can be left at room temperature.
- Whisk the ingredients for Vinaigrette 2 in the same way, but beat a little longer to help sugar dissolve. You could also do this in a blender although the quantity is small.
- To serve:.
- Arrange a small heap of mixed lettuces, torn up if necessary, on each of 4 large plates.
- Cut the chicken breasts in thick slices against the grain, and arrange a cut breast neatly on each heap of lettuce.
- Sprinkle equal quantities (about 2 teaspoons each) of capers over each breast.
- Clean, peel, and then slice the onion thinly. Cut onion rounds again, to form half moons. Arrange some over each chicken portion.
- Arrange the pecans on the salads. (I first roasted them in a hot pan to crisp them).
- Cut each grape tomato in half (if large, not if very small) and prepare the mozzarella. Toss the tomatoes and mozzarella balls (or cubes) in a bowl with enough of Vinaigrette 2 (the basil vinaigrette!).
- Arrange these tossed tomatoes and mozzarella next to, but slightly separate from, the chicken salad.
- Finally, drizzle enough Vinaigrette 1 over the chicken stacks, making sure it penetrates to the lettuce below.
- You will have vinaigrettes left over. Keep it or put in a small jug on the table, but add more of the basil dressing (V. 2) to the cheese and tomatoes on each plate before serving, using a teaspoon to distribute.
- Serve as suggested in intro. Put a little container of flaky sea salt like Maldon on the table, with breads and wine.
- *COOK'S NOTE: I made Vinaigrette no 1 with 2 tablespoons maple syrup, but suggested less syrup here for the average taste. If your maple syrup is the real thing and quite thin, you might want to use my original 2 tablespoons. It is SUPPOSED to be slightly sweet, to contrast with the relative sharpness of the basil one. Use your judgment. It's also an amazing discovery: it does not separate at all, and would be absolutely great with cold roast pork as well.