Spring. In. A. Bowl.
400g chicken thighs
3 garlic cloves, crushed
4 tbsp olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
pinch of chilli flakes
2 tbsp oregano leaves, coarsely torn
50ml lemon juice
50ml olive oil
2 heaped tbsp finely grated parmesan
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp tarragon leaves, finely chopped (sub another soft green herb if unavailable)
Spring green tabbouleh
5 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 head of cauliflower (about 500g), trimmed and roughly chopped into a mix of florets and chunks
1 bunch asparagus spears, stems finely diced, tips left whole and reserved
1 zucchini, very finely diced
1 cup buckwheat, cooked
2 tbsp capers
3 tsp caster sugar
juice and zest of 1 lemon
½ cup smoked almonds, chopped
1 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
½ cup loosely packed mint leaves, finely chopped
½ cup loosely packed basil leaves, finely chopped
lemon wedges, to serve
1. Add the chicken, garlic, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, lemon zest, chilli and oregano to a bowl. Toss to coat the chicken in the mixture then cover and marinate in the fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight (this is not a must-do if time is short, but it will deepen the flavour of the chicken).
2. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate if preparing ahead or set aside until ready to serve.
3. Place a large frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and once hot, add the garlic and cook until fragrant and lightly golden. Add the chopped cauliflower plus any little bits from the chopping board and cook for 2-3 minutes – you don't want to cook it to mush but you do want to remove that raw taste. Transfer to a plate and return the pan to the heat.
4. Add the diced asparagus and zucchini and cook for 1 minute. Return the cauliflower and the cooked buckwheat to the pan and cook just until the buckwheat has lightly warmed through – it should be warm to the touch. Transfer to a bowl with the remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil, capers, sugar and lemon juice and zest – be sure to add these elements while the salad is warm. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon, season generously with salt and pepper and set aside.
5. Return the same frying pan to the stove over medium-high heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and once hot, add the chicken, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, and cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until lightly golden, crisp and cooked through. Slice the chicken into bite-sized slices.
6. Add the almonds and chopped herbs to the buckwheat and cauliflower. Toss to distribute the fresh greens through the mixture.
7. Turn out onto a serving plate and drizzle with some of the dressing. Top with the chicken and reserved asparagus tops. Season again with salt and pepper and serve with lemon wedges on the side.