We’d hesitate to call this a straight Caesar salad as it is cluttered with all kinds of summer veg that would never appear in the original; all flashed across the barbecue griddle alongside our Properly Free Range chicken breasts for a smoky finish. The dressing is pretty faithful though, with plenty of pungent garlic, salty anchovy and sharp lemon.
3 small lettuces, each cut into 8 wedges
150g green beans
2 courgettes, cut in half lengthways
200g Sourdough Bread, torn into 3cm croutons
100g frozen peas, defrosted
small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan, to serve
For the dressing
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 salted anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1 egg yolk
½ tbsp Dijon mustard
5 tbsp Olive Oil
To make the dressing, mix the garlic, anchovy, egg yolks and mustard together in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Whisk in the oil, a little at a time until you have a thick emulsified dressing. You want it to have the consistency of a thick yoghurt, if it seems a bit too thick, thin it down with a dash of boiling water. Taste and adjust with more salt and lemon juice, salt to your taste. You can make this well ahead of time if you like.
Remove your chicken from the fridge at least 20 minutes before cooking. Light your BBQ and let your wood or coals get to a nice medium-high heat.
Meanwhile, prep your lettuces, green beans and courgettes. Brush them all lightly with olive oil and season lightly with salt. Thread the radishes and croutons onto skewers, this is so you can turn them easily on the BBQ without having to chase them around with your tongs. Brush them with olive oil too, making sure that the croutons are well coated, season with salt.
When the BBQ is ready, place the skewers on the cooler edges where the heat is less fierce and direct, you want to turn them every couple of minutes until the croutons go crisp and golden. The radishes will cook alongside without any trouble, you want them to still have a slight bite to them.
Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper and place it skin side down over the high heat. Cook it for about 6-8 minutes, turning every so often, until nicely coloured on both sides. When ready, remove and leave to one side to rest for at least 5 minutes.
While the chicken cooks, cook the veg alongside. It doesn’t all need to be ready at the same time so you can do it veg by veg or fill the grill with everything at once if the space allows. The lettuce wedges just need about 1 minute each side, so they are lightly wilted and charred. The green beans will take a couple of minutes until softened and slightly blistered – take care not to lose them between the grill bars. The courgettes will take about 2 minutes a side, until nicely marked and starting to soften.
Throw the lettuce wedges and green beans into a large mixing bowl, slice the courgettes into interestingly angled pieces and add those too, along with the peas. Slide the radishes and croutons off the skewers straight into the bowl.
Once rested, slice the chicken and throw it into the bowl along with half the dressing. Give it a good mix and then pile it onto a serving dish. Artfully spoon the remaining dressing across the top and then finish by shaving some Parmesan across the top with a veg peeler. Garnish with some freshly chopped parsley.