Chicken and Asparagus Caesar Salad
A classic Caesar salad has long been a favourite side salad of mine. Simple, yet absolutely delicious. It goes so well with grilled and barbecued meat and fish. These days Chicken Caesar salad seems to have almost replaced the classic side salad and appears on many restaurant and pub menus in the summer. It is also really easy to make at home, and I tend to think it tastes far better.
Making your own Chicken Caesar Salad means that not only you can add as much or as little dressing as you like, you can also pimp your salad. With the British summer having done its disappearing act right now, I chargrilled my chicken on a griddle pan indoors. But, when the sun is out, I like to light up the barbie. Cooking over charcoal adds so much flavour.
I’ve left out the anchovies but included plenty of croutons – they are after all the best part, right?! For the croutons I used two thick slices of sourdough bread, but any bread will do. Ideally you want to use bread that is a couple of days old, which makes it perfect for using up those last bits of bread. I don’t like my croutons too neat so I cut the bread into thin strips then tear into small bite size croutons.
To pimp the salad a little more, I have added chargrilled asparagus stems to mine which, like the chicken, could also be cooked on the barbecue. The combination of tender chicken breasts, chargrilled asparagus, crunchy romaine salad leaves, and croutons is divine.
My classic Caesar Salad Dressing is easy to make and will keep for several days in the fridge so you can make it in advance.
And so we have it, a lovely main meal salad that really doesn’t take long to rustle up. Its good enough to serve when entertaining friends and would also make a great starter.
- 2 Thick slices bread cut into cubes
- 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cos/romaine lettuce washed
- 3 chicken breasts skinned and boned
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- a little dried oregano
- 250 g asparagus
- Caesar salad dressing to serve
- Heat the oil in a frying pan with the garlic, then toss in the bread cubes and cook until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and discard the garlic.
- Tear the lettuce into bite size pieces and place in a serving dish.
- Place the chicken breast between two sheets of cling film and beat with a rolling pin or flat meat mallet to flatten slightly. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with a little oregano.
- Heat a ridged griddle pan until very hot and cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes each side or until cooked through.
- Remove from the pan and add the asparagus, cook for 3-4 minutes turning frequently until just tender.
- Pour over some of the salad dressing over the salad and lightly toss. Scatter the croutons on top.
- Cut the chicken into strips and arrange over the top of the salad along with the asparagus. Serve the remaining salad dressing separately.