this salad is inspired by one i tried at vault 21 in dunedin, new zealand.
the flavours were just incredible, its a salad on steroids – so i knew i had to try my hand at replicating it.
and this is perfect – just like the original. there is no doubt itll make an impact at your table!
its easy to make. the effort is in the confit garlic mayo, but please.. pretty please, please make it yourself… the flavour cant be replicated by store bought mayo… i promise itll be worth it and the fam will be impressed!
pre-heat oven to 180deg
for the mayo
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cup cold pressed avocado or rapeseed oil (or other neutral oil) – i used good oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp rice wine, or white wine vinegar
pinch of salt
6 large garlic cloves, whole & peeled
for the salad
4 free range chicken thighs, boneless (cut each thigh into 3)
1.5 tblsp chinese five spice, (i use spice trader)
3 tsp salt
3 cups mesclun greens
1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks
cherry tomatoes, halved
70gm macadamia nuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
for the mayo
place 1/2 cup of the oil in an oven proof container – i used a ramekin. place the whole peeled garlic cloves in the oil and put into the oven until soft.
this takes about 10 mins. watch them closely, they should not brown too much or you have taken them too far.
remove the garlic from the oil immediately and using the side of a knife, mash the garlic. this should be very easy! if its not, they are not properly cooked yet.
if making your own mayo, add the egg yolk, dijon mustard, vinegar and a pinch of salt to a mixing bowl. stir to mix. using a stick blender or whisk, slowly drizzle in the oil (keep whisking if using a whisk).
the yolk will start to thicken..
keep pouring the oil, until the mayo is desired thickness. the 3/4 cup of oil is an estimate – use your judgement.
if the egg suddenly goes runny, you have poured the oil in too fast and will have to start again.
for the chicken
place the slices of chicken in a bag with the salt & five spice. toss until covered.
turn a frypan on to high. add some oil to the frypan and fry until browned and cooked on all sides.
remove the chicken and slice into desired sizes – for me this was halving each piece of chicken.
place all the salad ingredients into a bowl and toss.
place into serving bowls. top with the chicken.
serve with the mayo on the side.