Featured as part of our Cooks and their Books series, this recipe comes courtesy of Manuela Darling-Gansser, inveterate traveller and passionate amateur cook.

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Average: 2.8 (9 votes)


5 organic chicken breasts
1 red capsicum (bell pepper)
1 yellow capsicum (bell pepper)
2–3 celery sticks
2–3 carrots
Iceberg lettuce or radicchio (red chicory) leaves
Maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1⁄2 cups mayonnaise
arugula (rocket) leaves
1⁄2 cup toasted pine nuts

1⁄2 cup virgin olive oil
1⁄2 cup lemon juice
2–3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 chilli, chopped
2–3 bay leaves, chopped

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Mix together all marinade ingredients and marinate chicken breasts for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Heat a large castiron griddle or pan, add a little olive oil to it and then sear the breasts to brown them, then finish off in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until done. Let them cool, then cut into 2 cm (1⁄2 in) strips. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut all the vegetables into thin julienne. Arrange on your serving dish some baby iceberg or radicchio leaves. Mix the carrots and celery in 1⁄2 cup of mayonnaise. Place on to the leaves then add the capsicums, followed by the chicken pieces. Put a handful of arugula leaves on top of chicken and, lastly, scatter over the pine nuts.

Serve the remainder of the mayonnaise on the side.

Recipe from Under The Olive Tree by Manuela Darling-Gansser, with photographs by Simon Griffiths. Published by Hardie Grant Books.