While asparagus is in season we love to eat it nearly every day, sometimes simply steamed to accompany meat, fish or chicken and other times as part of a salad that’s the main course. This salad is one of those. It’s a way of using up leftover chicken but is best if you cook some chicken and dress it with vinaigrette while warm.
Ingredients and Method (for 4)
Cook a chicken your favourite way, making sure it’s well seasoned and preferably cooked with fresh aromatic herbs in the cavity. When cooked, remove the skin and break the chicken into bite sized pieces.
Snap the ends of 1-2 bunches of asparagus and steam or boil the asparagus till just tender. Refresh in cold water immediately. If the stalks are quite long cut them in half.
Peel 3-4 navel oranges making sure you remove all the pith. Cut the oranges into small wedges.
Toast a handful of slivered almonds or pistachio nuts.
Finely chop a selection of fresh herbs ideally including French tarragon and chervil, chives or spring onions and flat leaf parsley. Also finely slice 2 stalks of celery and/or a small fennel bulb.
- Make a Vinaigrette:
- 3 parts of good quality extra virgin olive oil to 1 part a mix of fresh orange juice and white wine vinegar or lemon juice
- 1-2 tsps of Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
- Orange zest
Taste and adjust to suit your taste. For a hint of sweetness you can add a dash of balsamic vinegar.
In a bowl gently combine all the ingredients reserving a few nuts and herbs to sprinkle on the top and some dressing. The salad needs to be moist with dressing but not drowned in it.
Break up Cos leaves if they’re large and place them on a platter. Drizzle with a little of the dressing. Top with the chicken and asparagus mix, sprinkle with the rest of the herbs and nuts and serve with fresh crusty bread and a glass of Rosé.