Poached chicken, broad bean and zucchini flower salad with honey-feta dressing and all the herbs

The warm honey and feta dressing makes this spring-summer salad sing.
The warm honey and feta dressing makes this spring-summer salad sing. Photo: Katrina Meynink
Dietary
Gluten-free

This is all the green and glorious parts of spring and summer in a single bowl. It is fresh but so filling with the addition of some fingerling potatoes and a dressing that is equal parts tang, richness and sweet. Given all the soft herbs and leaves in this salad, it is best eaten shortly after making. You can prepare the chicken and the dressing ahead and assemble just before serving.

Ingredients

500g fingerling potatoes

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

enough chicken stock to cover (about 2 cups)

Salad

2 cups spinach leaves

1 cup soft herbs, such as dill, basil, flat leaf parsley, oregano, roughly chopped

8 small zucchini flowers, stamen removed and petals coarsely torn, small stems reserved

2 tsp olive oil

½ cup podded broad beans

peas from 1 cup sugar snap peas

Dressing

juice of 1 lemon

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

½ cup feta

3 tbsp honey

½ cup smoked almonds, roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

Method

1. Add the potatoes to a large pot of boiling water and cook for 15 minutes or until just cooked – you want to be able to pierce them with a knife but meet some resistance. Strain and allow to cool before cutting into halves, in a mix of horizontal and lengthways.

2. Add the chicken breasts to a medium saucepan and pour over the stock to generously cover. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes, then reduce heat to low and simmer for another 3-5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat completely and let the chicken steep in the liquid until the liquid has slightly cooled, about 10 minutes.

3. Strain the chicken and tear it into pieces using a couple of forks. Add to a large bowl with the spinach, soft herbs, zucchini flowers and cooked potatoes, tossing gently to combine.

4. Add the olive oil to a frying pan over medium heat. Add the broad beans, small zucchini stems and the peas. Cook for one minute until vibrantly green, remove from heat and add to the salad.

5. For the dressing, add all ingredients to the same frypan and place over very low heat. Cook very briefly – you want the feta to melt into the dressing, but you don't want to burn the honey. Remove and pour over the salad. Season very generously with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine. This salad is best served straight away.