Quite often the reaction to suggesting a salad for dinner will be one of great disappointment and despair. Boring some might say, and of course the classic ‘but it wont fill you up!’.
Well this can all be true depending on what kind your planning on, but a hearty cold or warm salad with charred or roasted vegetables and meat, flavoursome dressings and side sauces is actually completely filling, and leaving one without the lethargic aftermath a carb-heavy dish can have.
Turkish flavours are my favourite in salads. Meat and veg charred on the griddle doused fresh zingy dressings. To top it all off, cacik, fresh yogurt with olive oil and lemon, so perfect for drizzling over your fresh plate.
Here is my Turkish inspired chicken salad with tomato, cucumber, red onion salsa, charred green peppers and home-made cacik.
Chicken Salad, Salsa, Charred Green Peppers and Cacik
For the Salsa:
1 small red onion
Handful chopped parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
For the Salad:
1 whole roast chicken
I large head green gem lettuce
1/4 red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 carrot, grated
2 large pickled cucumbers / gherkins, sliced
2 – 2 large Jalapeno peppers
For the Cacik:
250ml plain Turkish or Greek-style yoghurt
1 small lebanese cucumber (or 1/3 of a large one)
1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped and mashed to a paste
Salt & pepper
1. First prepare the Cacik: For the Cacik: Chop the cucumber into tiny pieces, as small as you can, and place in a bowl. Cover the cucumber with salt and set aside for 30 minutes. The cucumbers will start to exude their juices which will flavour the yogurt nicely.
2. Put a griddle pan on medium – high heat, cover the peppers with olive oil and start to char.
3. Cut the tomato and cucumber into medium pieces. Slice the red onion as thin as you can. Chop the parsley fine. Place all ingredients in a bowl and cover with a the juice of 1 lemon. Season with salt and pepper. Let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes – 1 hour, stirring a couple of times, so it starts to exude juice.
4. Tear the lettuce in small pieces. Cut the red cabbage into thin slices. Grate the carrot. Mix together in a bowl.
5. Tear the chicken into large pieces and add to the salad.
6. Remove the tomato salsa from the fridge. Drain the juice and keep for later. Now add the tomato, cucumber, parsley onion mix to the chicken salad, as well as the sliced gherkin.
7. Lay out the salad on a large plate or chopping board. Serve with the charred peppers, cacik, salsa vinaigrette and some chilli sauce.