I wore a new yellow skirt to work last week. It is long and boldly colored, meaning there’s quite a bit of brightness wherever I go. A colleague told me “You look.. radiant! Like the sun!”.
When I got home, my man asked: “Did your colleagues tell you you look like a crazed hippy?” I told him no, and his response was “ah, they were just thinking it then”.
It was the same for this salad. I thought it was bright, punchy, happy. My man grimaced, asked “is that lemon?” and made himself a peanut butter sandwich. His loss, because he missed out on a salad that is perfect for days like these, when it feels muggy but is quite chilly. It is refreshing, with crunchy vegetables and a lemony dressing, but substantial enough to counter the chill, with quinoa, pieces of chicken and sesame oil. Plus, it will fill you up, but there will be a room left for ice cream. And that is important on any summer day, whether brightened by the sun or a happy colored skirt.
Chicken salad with vegetables and cilantro
Adapted from Cooking with Herbs and Spices by Andi Clevely, Katherine Richmond, Sallie Morris, Lesley Mackley
1 cup quinoa
3 chicken thighs, boned, skinned, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and cut into match sticks
75 gr lamb’s lettuce, rinsed, dried, roots removed
200 gr mange-tout
30 gr cashew nuts, roasted and salted
2 tbsp lemon juice
6 tbsp olive oil
few drops of toasted sesame oil
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1/2 tsp ground cilantro seeds
2 handfuls fresh cilantro, chopped
Cook the quinoa as directed on the package. Meanwhile, make the dressing by whisking the lemon juice into the mustard, then adding the olive oil. Mix thoroughly and add cilantro seeds and sesame oil.
When the quinoa has about seven minutes of cooking time to go, heat the olive oil in a skillet, add the chicken pieces and cook until done. For the last two minutes of cooking, add the mange-tout to the quinoa. Drain the quinoa and mange-tout, mix in the carrots. Toss the lettuce with a tbsp or so of the dressing and place on a large plate. Add another 2 tbsp of dressing to the quinoa mixture and mix thoroughly. Top the lettuce with the quinoa mixture, spread the chicken pieces evenly over the plate. Sprinkle with cashew nuts and chopped cilantro. Sserve with extra dressing on the side to add to taste.