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26 February 2012

My C.H.A.P Salad (Chicken, Haloumi, Antipasto, Pide)

Today we went along to Heide Museum of Modern Art. What a stunning, inspiring and educational experience. The museum space is amongst 14 acres of luscious gardens and subtly tucked away in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne. My lovely neighbour and friend works there and we have been meaning to go for a long time and check it out. The museum occupies the site of a former dairy farm that was purchased by the prominent Melbourne art collectors John&Sunday Reed in 1934 and became home to a collective known as the Heide Circle, which included many of Australia's best-known modernist painters, such as; Albert Tucker, SidneyNolan, Laurence Hope Joy Hester and others, who lived and worked in the former farm house. Along with the exceptional and very historic Art collections are 2 Garden kitchens (the best I have seen yet!) that harvest produce for CafĂ© Vue which is onsite, creation by Uberchef Shannon Bennett of Vue to Monde (3 hat top Melbourne restaurant). Lunch was a wagyu pie and beautiful Salad du Jour. I have included pictures below as it rocked! So here for your dear reader is my Salad Du Jour – a Mediterranean delight with ingredients from my Kitchen Garden of course! A trusted and very easy recipe I whip up regularly. Enjoy mes amies. Serves 4

Prep time: approx. 15 min. cooking time: about 15 min

Kitchen stuff needed: a grill (we use an electric one endorsed by a once famous boxer!), strainer/colander, Sharp knife, chopping board, shallow frying pan, and fork for mixing dressing, and large salad bowl for serving

Ingredients from the garden:
4 x small eggplant/aubergine (or 1 biggie)
25 x cherry tomatoes
10 x fresh basil leaves

Other Ingredients
300gm mixed antipasto
500gm x chicken breast cut into 3cm strips
75gm x pinenuts
½ Turkish bread loaf
200gm mixed leaves
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
S & P to taste

Let’s do it:
1. Slice eggplant into 2cm chunks, lightly salt and set aside for 5 min
2. Drain antipasto into bowl. Keep the oil that is left.
3. Use about 2 tblespn of oil to and fry chicken in batches until brown and just cooked through. Fry quickly pinenuts in same oil.
4. Pop eggplant into same oil and lightly fry for a few minutes until it just starts to soften.
5. Cut haloumi into 1cm slices and using same oil, fry in same oil until just brown.
6. Cut Turkish bread into 1cm cubes and toast/grill.
7. In your large salad serving bowl add chicken, haloumi, antipasto, eggplant, cherry tomatoes and mixed leaves.
8. Drizzle with remaining combined oil and vinegar.
9. Sprinkle with pine nuts and basil leaves. Job done easiest tastiest salad ever.

Enjoy with a large glass of crisp Western Australian Rose.

Soundtrack for a Mediterranean Salad: Midnight Remember by Little Red

Todays lunch at Cafe Vue. Y.U.M.

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