Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Chicken Pesto Salad

I am back , it has been a while since my last post . Cannot even believe I allowed May to pass me by without even an attempt at posting........ needless to say many a delicious dishes were made and consumed in this time . Believe me when I tell you , I felt pangs of bloggers guilt for not sharing even an insight into what we were enjoying at the dinner table .

May, as a rule is probably the busiest month of the school year . Why? I hear you ask - well it is when everything and I mean everything , except school wraps up for the year . It is a month filled with recitals for .... let me see (1) chorus, (2) piano , (3) school play .... etc etc etc . Mum is run ragged running from one rehearsal to another , the miles on the car are piling on , and all I can think about as I am waiting in the pick up line is ..... " what are we having tonight for dinner ?" and will I have time to at least photograph it ???

Hence , from my lack of postings you have all figured out the answer for the past month .

I did promise myself that June would not be like that - I now had no excuse - or let me refrase that , limited excuses for not posting anything . I did actually achieve one goal of photographing a few dishes , and I am embarrassed to say it is only a few dishes. This dish was bourne out of both  desperation and inspiration and trying to get dinner on the table in a "one dish" affair. So, you may well be asking yourself why it is not plated nicely, why does it look like the bottom of the salad bowl when I took a picture !" . Because it was at this moment I realised this salad needs to be posted and photographed .

The first time I made this dish it was just me and my little gourmets for dinner , hubby was working late - deadlines to be met and dinner does not wait when there are hungry little gourmets to feed.

In an effort to broaden their palates , expecially my little little gourmet , I have instigated a rule that when I ask them about ingredients I put in a dish , to which they concur they will eat , then they have to eat it .

This dish combines eveything I love with a nice balance of protein, carbohydrates and delicious crunchy vegetables . It has been ispired by a myriad of tv chefs, magazine articles and visits to beautiful food bars. There are no rules as far as quantities go , or what you would like to include in your salad . I always say make a dish look pretty and your stomach will be happy with the anticipation.

This dish actually made my little gourmets eat with ravenous speed , sugar snap peas - in their raw and deliciously sweet state . I would have to say that was my secret vegetable ingredient. The dressing is nothing more than pesto - pure and simple.

Feel free to make your own salad , it stores well in the fridge , it is great enjoyed straight from the fridge or you can allow it to come to room temperature. You can change the colours of the peppers- you can add some feta cheese or shavings of parmesan , olives etc etc - you are inhibited only by your imagination.

GG Chicken Pesto Salad
an original GG dish 

1 packet penne pasta 
chicken tenders or rotisserie chicken 
yellow bell peppers
sugar snap peas 
red onion 
basil pesto 

Cook pasta according to packet directions , drain and rinse slightly to get rid of the starchy water . Allow to cool . 

Prepare chicken tenders to your family's liking or use a store brought rotisserie chicken, shredded into large bite size chunks.

In a large bowl add all the vegetable ingredients you are using , add the pasta and chicken, toss to combine then add as much or as little pesto you would like. Toss well to combine and serve.