Rukmini Iyer’s trio of summer salads: pollo, butter beans and feta

The Roasting Tin author on three ways to add colour and crunch to your summer feasting table

di Rukmini Iyer

ven 11 Jun 2021

These recipes highlight that a few good ingredients need little more than a simple dressing to shine.

In all three, the star ingredient – from my favourite Navarrico jarred butter beans to free-range chicken and good feta cheese – has a short stint marinating in a herby lemon and olive oil dressing before stirring it through with a handful of complementary ingredients.

Each salad takes just a few minutes to prepare, and they work beautifully together for a summer feasting table: with crunch, colour and texture from the radishes, hazelnuts and courgette, and complementary flavours from the citrus, mint and dill.

As a bonus if you’re cooking for guests, they can all be prepared and left at room temperature for up to an hour before serving.

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Prep 10 min plus at least 1 hr to marinate
cucinare 25-30 min
Servi 2 as a main or 4 as a side

2 free-range organic chicken breasts
1 heaped tbsp natural yoghurt
12 limoni,
juice only
1 large clove garlic, grated
1 tsp smoked paprika
1⁄2 cucchiaini di sale marino
1 pink grapefruit
80g watercress
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cucchiaino di fiocchi di sale marino
Handful toasted hazelnuts

Stir the yoghurt, succo di limone, grated garlic, smoked paprika and salt together in a shallow dish, then add the chicken breasts, turning to coat evenly. Let them marinate in the fridge for one hour or overnight.

Before cooking, preheat the oven to 180C fan/200C/gas mark 6. Roast the marinated chicken for 25-30 minutes until cooked through, then leave to cool for 10 minutes before cutting into thick slices.

Slice the top and bottom off of the grapefruit. Using a sharp knife, peel off the skin, following the shape of the grapefruit. Halve and slice, then set aside along with any juice.

On a large plate, dress the watercress with olive oil and sea salt flakes. Add the sliced chicken and grapefruit, and mix gently before scattering with toasted hazelnuts.

Prep 10 min
Servi 4 as a side

700g jar Navarrico Judion butter beans, drained and rinsed (regular butter beans will work well here too)
1 Limone, juice and zest (about 30ml juice)
1 small clove garlic, grated
1 cucchiaino di fiocchi di sale marino
30ml extra virgin olive oil
1⁄2 tsp chilli flakes
2 cipolle primaverili,
finely sliced
1 packet baby courgettes
Large handful mint leaves

Mix the drained and rinsed butter beans with the lemon juice, zest, aglio, sale marino, olio d'oliva, chilli flakes and spring onions. Set aside to marinate for 10 minuti.

Use a speed peeler (a potato peeler with a swivel head) to peel the courgettes into the bowl with the butter bean mix.

Add most of the mint leaves and gently mix with your hands to thoroughly coat the courgette ribbons in the dressing.

Transfer the salad to a large plate, and dress with a little more extra virgin olive oil, and a scatter of chilli flakes and mint leaves before serving at room temperature.

Prep 20 minuti
Servi 4 as a side

200g radishes, halved
200g good feta
10g fresh dill
½ limone,
juice only
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Pepe nero appena macinato
250g broad beans

Pop the halved radishes in a bowl of cold water. Cut the feta into 1.5cm cubes, and gently stir with the dill, succo di limone, extra virgin olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.

Dunk the broad beans in a bowl of boiling water for 30 secondi, then drain and run under cold water. You can now gently pinch and squeeze the bright green beans from the thick outer skins – this might seem like a pain, but very much worth it for the lovely colour and improved texture.

Drain the radishes, and stir them through the feta with the broad beans.

You can serve this immediately, or let it sit for up to an hour at room temperature.

Rukmini Iyer is the author of The Roasting Tin series. Il Barbecue Verde: Vegano & Ricette vegetariane da cucinare all'aperto & Nel is out now (piolo quadrato)

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