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29 March 2009

Poached Chicken Salad with Roast Beetroot and Tomato

So Mark came home a few days ago and informed me that he had had the best salad ever for lunch that day at a cafe in Pyrmont. Of course I wanted to re-create this meal for him (I was probably a little jealous he was so excited about the cooking of someone else!).
But I had been thinking about creating a roast beetroot salad, so this came as very good timing really.

The version that Mark had in Pyrmont contained goats cheese. I'm not a huge fan of goats cheese, but I love danish feta, so I have used feta in mine (I already had this in the fridge anyway) and goats cheese in Mark's.

This salad is not really something you whip up on a weeknight because I have actually cooked the tomatoes and beetroot for quite a long time, but it is well worth it for a lovely weekend meal.
See my post from 22 February 2009 for my homemade mayonnaise recipe. For the mayonnaise dressing used here, I added about a tablespoon olive oil, and extra white wine vinegar, as well as a bunch of chives. I also let it sit for half an hour or so in order for the flavour of the chives to penetrate the mayonnaise.

I don't have a decent photo of this one, but will put one up next time I make it.

Very happily for me, Mark said this was just as nice as the one he had at Pyrmont.

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 chicken breasts trimmed
1 quantity mayonnaise (see post from 22 February 2009, add extra white wine vinegar, olive oil and one bunch of chopped chives)
1 bunch baby beetroot (about 4 bulbs)
3 tomatoes
1 teaspoon sumac
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1/2 bunch endive leaves separated, washed and chopped in half
1/2 lebanese cucumber sliced
1/2 red onion thinly sliced
1 avocado diced
Goat's cheese or danish feta, as much or as little as you want, crumbled


Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Season with freshly ground pepper. Place the chicken in the boiling water and place the lid on the saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes, then take off the heat and set aside to cook through.

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees. Cut the tomatoes in half. Place in a baking tray, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with sumac and drizzle with olive oil. Clean and trim beetroot. Drizzle with oil, wrap in foil and place in the baking tray with the tomatoes. Roast for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, unwrap the beetroot and bake uncovered for another 30 minutes.

While the tomatoes and beetroot are cooking, place the pine nuts in a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

Place endive, cucumber, red onion, avocado and cheese in serving bowls. Slice the chicken and place on top. Cut the beetroot into quarters and add to the salad with the tomatoes and pine nuts. Drizzle with mayonnaise and serve immediately.

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