When we think of traditional Autumn-fare, the mind conjures up thick stews and casseroles; roasted pumpkins, soups and sausages; all served up in thick chunky bowls to warm the hands and heart.
But that doesn’t mean we’re limited to such dishes. There can still be variety that’s both hearty and fresh, paying tribute to the last of the Summer. This recipe is exactly that!
The final solitary tomato from my garden has been sacrificed for this dish. Aubergines are still readily available and herbs staunchly retain their perfume, undiminished by the mists and encroaching chill.
Because this is a ‘warm salad’, it truly offers the best of both worlds! The fresh flavours of Summer are present in the basil, rocket and rich tang of olive-oil; but the comfort-qualities of Autumn equally abound, with oven-baked vegetables, salty griddled cheese and hot, succulent roast-chicken.
This tribute to the change in seasons can be enjoyed by diabetics, gluten-intolerants, paleo-fans and ketogenic-dieters alike! Curl up by the fire, but eat a taste of the sun. We need it in food; as darkness & cold slowly rob it from all place else!
Place your chicken-pieces into a roasting-tray and generously salt and pepper the skins. Sprinkle on some dried oregano and oven for one hour until the chicken is golden and brown.
Meanwhile, roughly dice your aubergine, courgette and red-onion and glug over some good quality olive-oil to coat. Mix in crushed garlic, chopped Greek-basil and season well. Place into the oven and bake for the same duration as the chicken.
Slice your halloumi and place it onto a baking-sheet, ready to be grilled 10 minutes before serving.
Arrange a mixture of lettuce, rocket-leaves, diced tomato, olives, peppers and radish in your salad-bowl. Leave a well in the centre to pile up your hot ingredients, so that the salad doesn’t wilt.
Take your chicken and vegetables out of the oven and set them aside for ten minutes, so that they lose a little of their heat. Then place your halloumi under the grill, with a light drizzle of oil. Turn once halfway through so that both sides get their share of the suntan.
Tumble the vegetables into the centre of your salad-bowl, then arrange the cooked cheese at reliable intervals. Top this with your chicken-pieces, more chopped Greek-basil and a final salute of olive-oil.
Hey presto! Dinner is served! And I can honestly say, if you don’t like this, then there’s no pleasing you!
Thanks for reading and bon ap!