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Smoked Chicken and Asparagus Salad

Although fresh asparagus served on its own with a little melted butter is delicious it is worth remembering that it also is an excellent ingredient in many other dishes from salads to risottos. For a change it can also be roasted instead of boiled or steamed for a different yet equally good result.

Ingredients

300g asparagus, trimmed and cut into 5cm lengths
120g bag mixed baby salad leaves
400g cooked smoked chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
225g cherry tomatoes, halved
For the dressing:
4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp of clear honey
1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp of wholegrain mustard

Instructions

1. Cook the asparagus in boiling salted water for about 4 minutes or until just tender. Drain and plunge into ice-cold water to prevent it cooking further. Pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper.
2. Place the salad leaves in a large bowl, add the chicken, tomatoes and asparagus.
3. To make the dressing whisk the olive oil, garlic, honey, vinegar and mustard. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well.

Variation
If you can’t find smoked chicken use ordinary cooked chicken breast and char grill the asparagus. Trim the woody ends from the asparagus. Cook the asparagus spears in a large pan of boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes. Drain well and pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper. Toss the asparagus with 1 tbsp of olive oil then place on a hot griddle pan for 2-3 minutes, turning once, or until charred.
Alternatively you can roast the asparagus. Place the asparagus spears on a baking tray, brush with a little oil and cook at 200C/mark 6 for 20 minutes or until tender