So I’ve arrived! After nearly four hours of nose to tail in searing temperatures on Dante’s inner infernal circle also-known-as the M25 I’ve managed to escape out west for heavenly week at Filly Island (more on that in a later post).
I’m accompanied by two red gem lettuces, a lemon, and a knobbly, baby flavourful Lebanese cucumber…all about as wilted as I. I also had a rather sweating bag of parmesan. All (excluding me) were panting to be used up. And, of course, I never travel without a bottle of my beloved Fumo (‘naturally smoked with wood’) olive oil from Muraglia.
Mouse had thoughtfully left a jar of mayonnaise and some cracked black pepper at Filly Island. She’d also asked if I’d water her plants, which included mint, so I felt I was entitled to cut the odd sprig as ‘pay’ (although I was a bit concerned my famous brown fingers might not justify my earnings).
What then, quickly, to put together for salad.
The answer was to add some cooked chicken from the Co-op in the High Street, thus making a kind of nearly-Caesar-salad, but any leftover chicken would do well.
It turned out to be surprisingly good. Here’s how to do it.
Recipe for a chicken salad for cheats with lovely lemony mayo dressing
- 130-150g/6 oz flame-grilled ready-cooked chicken – or some left over from a roast
- 1 red gem…or baby gem
- 1 small, knobbly Lebanese cucumber
- A generous 80ml/⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 30g/4 tbsps/¼ cup grated Parmesan
- Sprig of mint
- 2 tbsps good quality olive oil – I love the smoked Fumo from Muraglia
- Salt and pepper – cracked or freshly ground
- 3-4 tsps of lemon or lime juice…plus any zest you can get hold of
- Mix the mayonnaise with a pinch of salt (I use smoked) and the lemon juice – stir in as you add, and taste, you don’t need that much.
- Arrange a few leaves of the baby gem on each plate.
- Break the chicken into pieces if you need to, and share out on top of the leaves.
- Slice the cucumber and distribute artistically between the two plates on top of the chicken.
- Snip a little mint over the cucumber.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken.
- Sprinkle over first the parmesan and then the cracked pepper.
- Serve with the mayonnaise.