As summer beckons and the weather heats up, I can’t help but feel excited for the fun things to come. In particular, I daydream about sunny days at the beach, think of any excuse to have friends over and I crave lighter, fresher meals. This salad is just that and it’s packed with lots of flavour too. It uses a whole barbequed chicken, which makes it super quick and easy for a mid-week dinner, but I love to serve it at parties too. The salad and dressing can be prepared in advance and stored separately in the fridge. When you are ready to eat, just toss through the dressing and dish it up alongside some G&Ts with lime and mint. That’s easy entertaining at its best. Cheers to days at the beach and balmy summer nights!
What you’ll need:
1 whole free range barbequed chicken
350gm Chinese cabbage (wombok), thinly sliced
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks or grated
1 telegraph or continental cucumber, deseeded and thinly sliced
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
Peanuts and fried shallots to serve (optional)
1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, finely grated
2cm piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup peanut oil
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
What to do:
Remove the meat and skin from the chicken and discard the bones. Shred or cut up the meat and finely slice the skin. I like to add the skin to the salad because it has so much flavour, but you can leave it out if you prefer.
For the dressing, whisk together all the ingredients and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the chicken, cabbage, carrot, cucumber, onion, coriander and mint. If you are serving the salad later, cover and place in the fridge until you are ready to eat, and then add the dressing just before serving. Otherwise, pour over the dressing and mix through. Serve immediately topped with peanuts and fried shallots if you fancy them.
Serves 6 – 8
Recipe, photo and styling by Karen McFarlane