I’ve said it before and I’m afraid I’m going to say it again. Having a fresh supply of salad growing in your garden or on your windowsill is life changing. Most importantly, you really savour it. Having watched it grow it becomes so much more than peeling something out of plastic wrapping, chopping it up and tossing through some half-thought-about-dressing. Not only is the taste vastly superior, but because it feels so much more special you are more inclined to do something a little more interesting with it. It’s exciting and you have more of a connection with it.
Having said all that and raised my lettuce to almighty heights, the other ingredients in this salad are a bit of stale bread and some left over roast chicken. But hey ho, the chicken was delicious and the bread turned into some yummy croutons. So here’s a simple yet wonderfully fresh and tasty salad which James and I just devoured for lunch.
Ingredients: A few handfuls of mixed lettuce, a few sprigs oregano, 1 thick slice stale bread, olive oil, pinch of chilli flakes, 1 tsp fennel seeds, 200g cooked chicken, handful cherry tomatoes
For the dressing: 2 large green olives, 1 garlic clove, 1/2 lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper
Wash the lettuce and leave to dry in a colander (or spin in a spinner if you have one). Add the leaves from the oregano sprigs.
Cut the bread into cubes and toss with one tablespoon of olive oil, the chilli, fennel and a good pinch of salt. Fry in a pan, turning frequently, until golden.
For the dressing, pit the olives and mash them up with the chopped garlic in a pestle and mortar. Add the lemon juice and 2-3 tbsps of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the chicken, tomatoes and croutons to the salad and toss through the dressing.