I wouldn't normally bother writing about a cobbled together salad, but I really like this dressing I came up with and thought it worth a quick post.
On the other side of Rye Lane to the main entrance to Peckham Rye station, there's a little alleyway running alongside the railway bridge. Walk around the fruit and veg stall there and you'll find this place:
It's called, with a commendable disregard for brand identity, The Asian Takeaway. There's a counter inside with a few stools (just visible on the right of the picture) and, in clement weather, a couple of tables and chairs outside; but it's main business is, as the name would suggest, takeaway food. Tasty and effing cheap takeaway food. A few minutes walk from Skint Towers, I can get a lunch of vegetable curry and a billowy nan, charred from the little tandoori oven, for £3.50.
This weekend, I had a leftover leg of tandoori chicken from there to use up, as well as a ripe avocado and some cherry tomatoes. If the leg of chicken had been from a roast, I'd probably have just made a mustardy dressing for the assembled salad. But because it was a leg of the tandoori kind, I got to thinking about those little pots of mint sauce you invariably find accompanying said fowl in your takeaway bag. This is, apparently, commonly made with a jar of mint sauce. As in Colman's. As in "Water, Mint (25%), Spirit Vinegar, Sugar, Glucose - Fructose Syrup, Salt, Acetic Acid, Stabiliser (Xanthan Gum), Colour (Copper Chlorophyllin)". I couldn't quite bring myself to buy a jar, so made the following dressing instead. And lo, it were reet gradely.
for the dressing:
1 dsp sugar
1 dsp boiling water
125g natural yogurt
2 tbsps white wine vinegar
1 heaped tbsp chopped mint
salt + black pepper
for the salad:
leftover chicken (two legs ideally), the flesh roughly torn from the bone
2 slices of sourdough, roughly torn
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved
½ small onion, finely sliced
1 avocado, flesh scooped out with a teaspoon
2 handfuls of baby spinach
Make the dressing: put the sugar in a small jug, pour over the boiling water and stir until dissolved. Add the yogurt, vinegar and mint, then season to taste.
Toss the torn sourdough in a little olive oil and bake in a roasting tray at 200C/180C fan for about 5 minutes or so, turning once, until golden and crunchy (I find that whenever I try to fry them in a pan they soak up too much oil, or the pan's too hot and they burn, or they brown unevenly).
Add the onion, avocado and spinach to a serving bowl, pour the dressing over and mix. Scatter over the chicken, croutons and tomatoes. Add a grind or two of black pepper and serve.
SHORTLISTED FOR FOOD BLOG OF THE YEAR 2014