To say its been a busy few weeks is an understatement. There’s no let up in the weeks ahead either. It hasn’t been all work though. I have been away for our annual cycling pilgrimage to France. This year we visited Bordeaux. What a beautiful place. Most of France is beautiful, but Bordeaux had that big city feel without being imposing. The surrounding countryside is picture perfect villages and grand residences. We stayed at Chateau Cordeillan de Bages (2* Michelin) in Medoc, Hostellerie de Plaisance (1* Michelin) in St Emilion and finally the Grand Hotel Of Bordeaux. All of these hotels were amazing in their own right. As expected the food was, at times, out of this world. The wines, sadly not. I’ll post about the dinners we had in each over my next few posts.
We were cycling about 40-50km per day. While we were there it was a heatwave in Europe. Being 40°c+ on some days. You can imagine how hot it must have been on a bike out in the open. Luckily when we made it home to the UK it was still warm and we were craving something filling, quick and summery at the same time. This salad hit the spot.
It is quite simply a grain of your choice, this time red and white quinoa, with an olive tapenade/pesto folded through it. I smoked my own chicken and then added some torn buffalo mozzarella. Served with a nice chilled white Burgundy, I couldn’t be happier.
- 200g, any colours Quinoa
- 200g, mixed colours Olives
- 30g Basil
- 30g Parsley
- 75ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Chicken Breasts
- 250g Buffalo Mozzarella
- 250g Asparagus
- Cook the quinoa per packet instructions.
- Blitz all the olives, basil, parsley and oil together until a thick paste is made. Add a squeeze of lemon or other acid if its too salty. While the quinoa is still warm add half of this pesto and mix in. Season to taste with a little more pepper.
- I have a little stove top smoker at home. The chicken breasts are cooked after 8 minutes in the smoker. If you don't have a smoker, griddling the chicken breasts will have a good effect. Slice on the diagonal into 5 pieces per breast.
- Cut the asparagus into tops and bottoms. Blanch for 2 minutes and then into cold water. Cut the thicker stems into 1 inch pieces and add to the quinoa. Slice the tips in half to expose the white interiors.
- Finally tear the mozzarella into pieces, scatter over the quinoa with the chicken and asparagus. Drizzle over the remaining dressing.