My last recipe before Halloween and it’s not a bit on theme, except that it’s a very green salad so in theory you could serve it up at your bash, or am I trying too hard? The truth is, this is the salad I’m eating today and I wanted to tell you about it right now.
In fact I was going to post about something totally different today but I still needed to take the photos and I was hungry so I thought, I know I’ll have lunch first and then I won’t be tempted to eat the subject during the photoshoot. Then before I knew it I was photographing making my lunch and then it looked and tasted so yummy that I thought it only fair that I photograph the finished dish, and then as I was taking the photos and my stomach I was rumbling I suddenly remembered what the point of making lunch first was. So that’s why you’re getting a salad instead of the pumpkin soup that I had actually intended.
I include a lot of salads in my newsletter as I eat one most days for lunch but I rarely blog about them as they can be a bit of a thrown together affair without much of a recipe. Today though, I knew exactly what I wanted. A creamy sour dressing lathered over chunky vegetables and spiced juicy chicken.
Claiming to want a sour dressing rather than just screwing it up may seem a bit odd but this is for the days when you want a very vegetably salad. Some dressings which are drenched with honey or smattered with sugar can drown the taste of the individual vegetables a bit and I wanted something so savoury but also perfectly balanced. Here, I deliberately wanted to abstain from any sweetness but if you taste the dressing and feel the need then by all means add a pinch of sugar.
The sour avocado dressing is bolstered by my use of green pepper. Green peppers are unfairly maligned in my opinion, I think they are the jewel of the bag of mixed peppers you buy from the supermarket and I’m always looking for the bags with more green peppers than red. Green peppers add a lovely counterpoint to the salad as there is no mistaking their grumpy presence. They have none of the overpowering sweetness of the red or yellow pepper and instead add a peppery flavour. Green peppers are used a lot in cajun and creole cooking as part of the holy trinity along with onion and celery which is their version of the mirepoix. That’s why it goes so well with the grilled cajun chicken that beds down on the greenery.
Cajun Grilled Chicken Salad with Sour Avocado Dressing
2 Chicken breasts
2 teaspoons cajun seasoning (see below for the recipe)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 little gem lettuce, shredded
½ cucumber, seeds removed and batoned
2 celery sticks, batoned
1 green pepper, seeds removed and sliced thinly
1 avocado, peeled and stone removed
75ml sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon English mustard
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
- Pre-heat the grill to the highest setting.
- Using a mallet, bash out your chicken breasts until they are of even thickness. Rub the cajun seasoning, olive oil and some salt and pepper on the chicken breasts and place under the hot grill. Grill for about 4 minutes each side until the chicken is cooked through.
- Meanwhile prepare your salad by placing the lettuce, cucumber, celery and green pepper in a bowl and tossing together. Set aside.
- To make the dressing place the avocado, sour cream, lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, paprika and seasoning in a blender and whizz up until smooth.
- When the chicken is cooked, slice thinly, toss with your salad and then drizzle with the sour avocado dressing.
1 tbsp onion salt
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper
4 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tsp celery seeds
1 tbsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground black pepper
Mix together thoroughly and store in a small airtight jar.