serves 2 for a main meal or 4 for a light meal or starter
A delicious summer salad based on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s French beans with tapenade and chicken.
I found this recipe when browsing The River Cottage Year just as the French beans were starting to appear and thought it sounded like one to add to the repertoire but with a few variations to accommodate our produce and to avoid a pet hate – anchovies.
500g cooked chicken – left over from a roast chicken or fry up a couple of breasts.
500g green summer vegetable – original recipe was for French beans but a mixture of French and broad beans and some small tender courgettes is perfect.
125g stoned olives –preferably black and definitely the tastiest you can find
1 clove of garlic
6 sun dried tomatoes – the ones that are in oil in a jar are best
½ small dried red chilli- very finely chopped
Use a large blade or messaluna to chop everything finely – but do not whiz in a processor this want to be a chunky tapenade not a puree. Mix with 1-2 tablespoons of good olive oil to make. Put the tapenade to one side and allow the flavours to blend.
Top and tail the French beans, pod the broad beans and slice the courgettes vertically into chunky batons. Cook in boiling water for about 5 minutes until vegetables are just cooked. Immediately drain and refresh with cold water ( this stops the cooking process and makes sure the vegetables do not go mushy).
In a large bowl mix the vegetables and tapenade and tear or cut the chicken into bite size strip. Mix everything together and eat immediately or it can happily wait as long as you want. Letting it stand for half an hour or so lets the flavours merge.
The perfect accompaniment is some freshly boiled new potatoes and a spot of butter – nothing else is needed