It’s funny but I cooked more when I was in Virginia for 4 weeks than a whole year in Manila. I find it easier to put together meals when everything is so convenient in their supermarkets. Everything is pre-cut, pre-packed, pre-cooked. All you really have to do is be creative and put all the ingredients together.
I found this recipe from Leite’s Culinaria, a blog I always read since they always feature different recipes from cookbooks. The original recipe was called Warm Sourdough Bread Salad with Chicken and Pine Nuts from Sara Foster’s Casual Cooking cookbook. I adapted it to the ingredients I had on hand and amped up the garlic.
I’m from the Philippines and we love garlic. The original recipe for the vinaigrette called for 2 cloves of garlic. I used a whole head.
Cut off the top of a head of garlic, pour some olive oil on it and wrap with foil and bake in the oven til soft.
After baking simply squeeze the head of garlic and the soft, mild and fragrant garlic will just pop out.
I wish I remembered to buy real lemons but I had to do with bottled lemon juice.
I bought a whole roasted chicken from Costco and used just the chicken breast. The legs, thighs and wings were saved for my nephew, Ethan’s dinner.
Cut the chicken into small pieces and put in a large mixing bowl.
Add the nuts, raisins and the baked bread cubes. I bought the sourdough loaf from Panera Bread.
Toss the chicken and bread mixture with some of the prepared vinaigrette.
Add the mixed greens and more dressing and toss again.
Transfer to a nice platter and enjoy this simple all in one meal.
For appetizers we had some blue cheese and aged cheddar cheese I bought I San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, date cake and raincoast crisps we bought in Whole Foods. Not pictured is the wine.
Warm Sourdough Bread Salad w/ Roast Chicken
adapted from here
For the vinaigrette
1 lemon or 3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 whole head of garlic
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad
4 cups 1-inch chunks of crusty, rustic-style sourdough bread
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons cashew or pine nuts
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups loosely packed arugula, watercress leaves, or mixed baby greens, washed and drained
1. Pre-heat the oven to 475°F (245°C).
2. Cut off the top of a head of garlic, pour some olive oil on it and wrap with foil and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes til soft.
3. Toss the bread chunks with the olive oil on a baking sheet and season with salt. Scatter the chunks in a single layer and toast until the bread is golden brown and the edges are crispy, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
You can bake the bread and the garlic together in the oven. Just leave the garlic in the oven a little longer.
4. Juice the lemon into a small bowl. Add the garlic pulp and smash them with a fork. Add the vinegar and gradually whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Add the chicken, raisins, nuts to the bread and combine. Drizzle with half of the vinaigrette, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss gently to combine.
6. Add the arugula and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette. Toss gently to combine, season with additional salt and pepper if desired, and serve warm.
This was a light yet filling meal. I noticed that there was a lot of bread left behind when we finished eating. If this happens you can just add more lettuce and dressing for another salad the next day.