Only 3 months into this blogging challenge and the recipes have already made me rethink my prejudice towards salads. I’ve never been a fan of salad, being forced to eat bland salad as child which consisted of soggy lettuce, cucumber (which I hate) and raw tomatoes (which I also hate) has left me with a dislike for them that until very very recently seemed like it would be impossible to ever change. Well hell hath frozen over it would seem! The sticky chicken and mango salad had started to win me round to the way of the salad and after the salad I made the other day, I am now truly a convert. But only if the ingredients are fresh and zingy with plenty of flavour otherwise it may as well be the soggy salad of my childhood. I cooked this recipe a few days ago, and it’s American-style seared chicken salad from Ainsleys Friends and Family Cookbook and is a variation on the classic Caesar salad. I know you may be thinking “Ainsley Harriott, really?” but do not judge his cookery skills on the fact that he may be the cheesiest chef, nay, man on television. The recipes in this book are really very good and cover a wide scope of good home cooked meals and everything I’ve cooked from it has been lovely. My aunty had this cookbook and after flicking through it last year I decided I needed a copy too, otherwise had I not seen it I too would never have thought about an Ainsley book.
He is still cheesy though. I’ll prove it:
And don’t even get me
See what I mean? Me and The Boyfriend (who could be back next weekend!) can’t help but laugh when he’s on TV as he is so OTT, and the way he grinds salt and pepper is exceptionally flamboyant. Next time you watch him now you won’t be able to concentrate on anything else I guarantee it! But he is a good cook and in my book that forgives many sins, and watching him does cheer me up. Another cheesy cook who is forever smiling is Bill Granger, but this makes him so ridiculously adorable I just want to give him a hug and move him in so he can cook for me. But don’t tell The Boyfriend that.
But lets get back to the salad. The chicken was moist and full of flavour after being marinated in olive oil, paprika and parsley, and the baby gem lettuce was crunchy and coated in a salty and spicy dressing. Add some crunchy croutons and a bit (ok a lot) of grated parmesan and this is one tasty salad which I would definitely make again. In fact I am making it again, albeit with no cheese and no croutons so I’ve got a tasty and healthy lunch at work tomorrow. I need to be healthy after a weekend of serious indulgence while visiting my fab family. Chilli, Indian curry, ham and cheese sandwiches, trifle, lemon cake, millionaires shortbread, roast pork with lots of crackling, wine…. phew! Its going to be a week of fruit, veg, chicken and fish to make up for the delicious sins of the weekend. Thankfully I now have salads to add my very small list of healthy recipes, thank you Ainsley!