Asparagus, Roast Chicken and Almond Salad

Serves 4

After the tough winter, it really amazes me how nature recovers – I have had the best purple sprouting broccoli ever.  My leeks and scallions survived the snow and maybe it’s my imagination, but I think they taste better than ever.  And at the moment, I am basking in sunshine here in Wicklow and better still, so are my salad leaves, everything form the hardy endive to the lambs leaf, mizuna and rocket are flourishing.  Cherry tomatoes and peppers are on their way. So I though ti appropriate to suggest a recipe that show cases this wonderful produce.

Enjoy preparing and tasting this recipe!

Catherine Fulvio

Ballyknocken house & Cookery School, Wicklow

1 bunch asparagus, about 16, washed and trimmed

250g roasted chicken, shredded or diced

100g baby spinach, washed

100g your favourite salad leaves from your garden (rocket, mizuna, lambs leaf etc)

16 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 scallions, finely sliced

½ cucumber, thinly sliced

1 red pepper, roasted and sliced into strips

1 tbsp parsley, chopped

4 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil for frying

For the dressing

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 clove garlic

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

1 tsp honey

6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. For the dressing, whisk all the ingredients to blend and set aside.
  2. Blanch the asparagus until just tender, strain and refresh in cold water to stop the cooking process.  Drain well and set aside.
  3. Place the spinach, salad leaves, cherry tomatoes, scallions, cucumber and roasted red pepper strips in a bowl.
  4. Drizzle enough of the dressing over the salad to coat the leaves.  Divide the salad between 4 serving plates (or 1 large serving platter for the centre of the table).
  5. Arrange the shredded chicken on the salad and place the asparagus on top. Sprinkle over the chopped parsley. Sprinkle with toasted flaked almonds, drizzle some extra dressing and serve immediately.

Top Tip: There are lots of garden produce in this recipe – it is delicious as it but if you don’t have all of these ingredients to hand, simply use what is in your garden such as salad carrots or steamed broccoli for example.

Cook’s Tip: This is delicious with prawns instead of the chicken.