- A bundle of asparagus
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 1 tsp sumach plus a few pinches
- 2 red onions
- ½ cucumber
- A punnet of tomatoes
- 1 lemon
- A handful of flat leaf parsley
- A handful of mint
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Pan with a lid
- Cling film
- Rolling pin
- Large bowl
- Frying pan
Fill the kettle and boil it. Snap the woody ends off your asparagus. Fill a pan with hot water from the kettle. Bring it to the boil. Put the asparagus in the pan and blanch for 1 min. Drain. Cool under running water.
Lay the chicken between 2 pieces of cling film. Using a rolling pin, bash them flat so they’re about ½ cm thick. Rub ½ tsp oil, ½ tsp sumach and a little salt and pepper over each piece of chicken. Put to one side.
Peel and dice the onions. Halve the cucumber lengthways. Scoop out the seeds using a teaspoon then dice it. Halve the tomatoes. Scoop out the seeds. Finely dice them. Chop the asparagus into small pieces, leaving the tender tips whole.
Finely grate or pare the zest from the lemon. Juice it. Pick the leaves off the parsley and mint sprigs. Finely slice any large leaves. Keep the smaller ones whole.
Mix all the veg and most of the herbs together in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest with a good drizzle of juice. Add 1 tsp olive oil, a few pinches of sumach and a little salt to taste. Mix.
Heat a dry frying pan over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the chicken. Cook for about 5-8 mins, turning once, till golden brown.
Pile the Shirazi salad onto plates. Top with the chicken. Scatter over the remaining herbs. Serve straight away.
Sumach is a spice from the berries of the Rhus family of flowering plants. It’s been used since the 11th century to flavour food, tan leather and as medicine. It gives tonight’s dinner a lovely lemony flavour.