Picnic Salad

This fabulous salad makes a filling picnic meal served with either French bread or rolls and butter. Or serve it at home on its own as a first course to a main meal. To take the salad on your picnic, place it in a plastic bowl and cover with an airtight lid – it is preferable to chill the salad in the refrigerator for at least one hour before the journey.

1 lb. lean cooked chicken, diced

6 oz. canned sweetcorn, drained

4 oz. small button mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced large avocado, peeled, stoned and chopped medium-sized peaches, blanched, peeled, stoned and coarsely chopped

5 oz. cooked long-grain rice, or 6 oz. cooked diced potatoes, cold

2 shallots, finely chopped

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

6 fl. oz. mayonnaise

2 fl. oz. double cream , whipped until thick but not stiff

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

First make the dressing. In a large mixing bowl, beat the mayonnaise, cream and lemon juice together with a wooden spoon.

Add the curry powder, salt, pepper and cayenne and stir well to blend. Add all of the salad ingredients and, using two large spoons, toss the salad thoroughly. Cover the bowl with aluminium foil and chill the salad in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving, tossing it occasionally.

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