Friday, September 26, 2014


The end of summer means the disappearance of these

but heralds the appearance of these

and calls for a special salad, don't you think? Here's the one I came up with last week:

September salad

You need one skinless, boneless chicken breast if you are in Italy and two if you are in the UK, because here the breasts are sold as a pair and in the UK singly. Ask the butcher to cut it or them into escalopes and pound them.  Marinate the escalopes in 2 tablesp balsamic vinegar with 1 teasp sumac for at least two hours [No, I've never found sumac here - friends send it from the UK.] 

Now you need to deal with 4 prickly pears: to peel one, lay it on its side on a board, plunge a fork into it to hold it steady, then make a slit on one side and start peeling the skin off with the knife. Don't touch the skin as, even if the thorns have been removed prior to sale, you can still get some nasty scratches. Then cut the fruit crossways into slices. Grill the slices in 1 tablesp oil on a griddle pan. They won't go very brown or show griddle marks but the grilling will make the flavour quite interesting. Drain the slices on kitchen paper.

Next, cut 1 large red pepper and 1 large yellow pepper into strips, not very thinly, and grill these in the griddle pan in 2 tablesp. oil.  Drain.

Peel and deseed half a large cucumber or a whole small one and chop it. Put the pieces on a plate, sprinkle with fine seasalt and leave for half an hour or so. Then rinse and drain.

Drain the chicken escalopes and discard the marinade. Pat the escalopes as dry as you can with kitchen paper. Now grill them in 2 tablesp oil in all in a griddle pan. Drain on kitchen paper and leave to cool.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut the escalopes into bite-sized pieces with a kitchen scissors. Put the pieces in a large salad bowl and leave in the fridge.

Make a dressing with 6 tablesp olive oil, 1 tablesp honey, 1 teasp sumac, fine seasalt and black pepper to taste. Mix it all well with a fork and refrigerate this, too.

When you are nearly ready to serve the salad, add  some washed salad leaves to the bowl: I used a whole small radicchio and half an iceberg lettuce, but you can use what leaves you like.  Then add the peppers, prickly pears and cucumber.  Add a few basil leaves and then toss it all in the dressing and serve. 

Serves 4.


annechung said...

A suggestion for musicale sabato, Paolo Conte's 'via con me' a very delightful Italian song by an Italian.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Anne. I know the song. Very few of my "sabato musicale" songs are not sung by Italians!

Lee said...

We've sprung into spring with a huge leap and I have a feeling summer will soon push spring out of the way and take over.

The fruits of summer are beginning to make their early appearance...and I'm not complaining about that. I will, however, have a whinge or two if the summer heat gets too much to pear...I mean bear!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Lee. Strange to think of the summer still to come over there.


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