This salad is fresh and zingy and full of contrasting textures – everything I like in a salad. And it’s basically fresh and zingy salad time now as the weekends have really been turning it on lately. Spring is here, like really here. Well for today anyway, if I get too excited about all this sun Melbourne will go and take it away again.
But about this salad… I’ve been playing with nasturtium a bit lately. It grows abundantly, so it’s free, and has a peppery taste that reminds me of rocket. The smaller leaves are more delicate in flavour so definitely choose those ones. Discard the stalks and wash well and you’re good to go with your cheap and cheerful salad ingredient.
The pretty blue flowers are borage, they taste like cucumber and are also super easy to grow, plus they attract bees to your garden, which is also handy. If you don’t have any on hand just leave them out.
This salad serves 4 but you could make a half serve of it and save the remaining chicken for sandwiches etc. I’ve also including hints and tips to waste less in this recipe.
1 chicken (small, free range and best quality you can afford)
4 cups chicken stock or bone broth
3 celery sticks
4 spring onions
2 c nasturtium leaves
2/3 c mint leaves
1 1/2 pink grapefruits
1 heaped tsp dijon mustard
3 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper
First prepare the chicken: place stock, chicken, 1 stick of celery roughly chopped and the white ends of 4 spring onions in a medium pot and fill with water to just cover the chicken. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove chicken from the water and allow to cool while you prepare the rest. Once cool shred the chicken roughly and set aside. ( Waste saving tip: put the bones back in the stock and boil for 6 hours until soft then strain, place in sealed container and freeze to use as stock another time)
The salad: Tear up any slightly larger nasturtium leaves and set aside with mint leaves. Peal off the stringy outer layer of the celery stalks and slice super finely. Chop the avocado into centimetre sized chunks, slice the spring onion (reserved green part) finely. Segment 1 grapefruit then cut segments into 1 cm pieces.
Make dressing: Whisk together the olive, juice of half a grapefruit and dijon mustard until well combined. Season. (Waste saving tip: Grill the other half of grapefruit you probably have now and eat with greek yoghurt and a little toasted muesli for breakfast- yum).
Serve: Mix a couple of tablespoons of dressing through the shredded chicken. Combine all salad ingredients, chicken and two thirds of the remaining dressing, taste and continue to add dressing if needed. (Waste saving tip: if not eating all the salad on the day you make it only combine what you will be eating and keep the rest in separate containers in the fridge to be dressed and combined with chicken just before eating – the salad won’t go soggy this way and you will be more likely to want to eat it!)