Thursday, June 9

Pesto yoghurt chicken salad


I can hear the sound of salad bags popping. That’s right, summer is here. BST may have arrived in March, but the mercury only crept north of twenty degrees as the summer solstice fast approaches.

That said it’s here now, and it’s most definitely sun cream season.  And as our wardrobe changes (pass the Johnsons Holiday Skin PDQ) so too do our eating habits. And ‘habit’ in my own case is the operative word. It is no exaggeration to say I have eaten (slurped ?) soup every day, without fail, since last August Bank Holiday.  But lentil soup and crusty bread seems as appropriate in June as eating a Calyppo for pudding on Christmas Day (though if I offered a Calyppo to my sons when there was snow on the ground it would be leapt upon)

So as we shift our behaviour to match the season what do we reach for as a summer default?  And of course, it’s salad, and with it the chance to atone for the long cold months of bread, roast potatoes and hot chocolate.

I say ‘salad’, but I do have a fairly liberal view of word (afterall isn’t language ever evolving?!), as in, it has raw ingredients, so here is my first shot of food for the warmer months:

Chicken with pesto and yoghurt

Serves 4
3 chicken breasts
1 tsp  pesto
150ml Greek yoghurt
Juice of one lemon
150g cherry tomatoes
Quarter of one cucumber
1 avocado
Sprinkling of pine nuts
200g brown rice

1. Preheat the oven to 180
2. Begin by cutting the chicken breasts into thinnish strips (2 cm). Once this is done make the marinade by combining yoghurt,  pesto and lemon juice. Coat the chicken and leave to marinade for as long as you can. When you’re ready, bake for 25 minutes.
3. Meanwhile cook the rice; brown rice will also take 25 minutes.
4. Chop the tomatoes, cucumber  and avocado.
5. Once the rice is cooked, serve onto plates and top with chopped vegetables, followed by the chicken. There will be some runny sauce left in your baking dish which can be spooned over.  And finally sprinkle with pine nuts .

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