I had ear-marked this page as soon as I saw it in Gourmet Traveller Magazine (a freebie from the Melbourne Food & Wine Show) and have been waiting for the right moment to make it (ie: have all the ingredients, am feeling brave, can be bothered). And today was the day.
After starting, I realised it was a little fiddlier than I expected and I should have prepared all the elements yesterday, and then I could have just "thrown" it together. Oh well, it wasn't too bad, just the mess to clean up ......
1. I had some vege stock (500mls should be enough) in the fridge so I poached my 2 very fat chicken breasts in this for 20 - 25 mins. Not only does it produce delightfully moist chicken but it flavours the vege stock further and you can reuse it for something else (I'm thinking soup) to get the maximum out of it. After it's cooled, shred it - there was enough meat for all 6 of us.
2. Collected 2 cups of loosely packed basil leaves, put them in a small sieve and dunked them in a pot of boiling water for 30 secs till ludicrously bright green. Then I drained them, and doused them in a bowl of icy water, drained again, squeezed out the most moisture I could (in the strainer) and then dried them further on paper towels. I did the basil in 2 batches and was left with 2 very attractive lumps:
3. Using the same boiling water & sieve I also blanched the trimmed green beans (2 handfuls worth) for 2 mins and refreshed in the cold water too.
4. While all the blanching was going on, I was also roasting a tray of walnuts in the oven till toasty brown.
5. Time for the mayo: put basil, 2 egg yolks, 2 tbsps of white wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp dijon mustard (I didn't have any & I don't think it hurt it any) in a processor and make it go crazy till well blended. Then add 150mls of extra virgin olive oil very slowly through the spout (while the processor is still going) in a thin, constant stream. I was highly dubious that it would turn to mayo consistency - but it did. YAY! And it was a very foxy green colour too. Taste and season with S & P and some lemon juice, even a little honey if you need it a bit sweet. It can also be thinned out with a little water for the drizzling effect.
6. Assemblage: Rocket leaves and Radish sprouts laid out on a platter (I like my salads flat not piled into a bowl), I would have used watercress as was suggested but darned if I could find any, even tho I saw it everywhere last week. :-( Then loaded up with chicken, green beans, walnuts ..... but there was one thing missing. The GT's recipe also suggested red grapes in the salad as the final touch, but I can't have grapes (cause of Candida diet) so had to find that last sweet element. Finally decided on some thinly sliced red gala apples - and hey! we were ready to rock:
And there's some left for lunch today. Very happy girl.