Chargrilled chicken, crispy prosciutto and nectarine salad

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Now I’m not usually a fan of salads with fruit in them but this little beauty has converted me! This chicken, prosciutto and nectarine salad is sure to become one of your staple summer salads when evenings are balmy, time is short perhaps or you’re entertaining and want a lighter option. The ingredients in this have been chosen to give balance; the salty prosciutto, the savoury cheese, sweet nectarine and some added texture from the toasted walnuts and it is all brought together with a dressing that could not be more straightforward so raid the supermarket and get cooking!

Ingredients- serves 2-3
Olive oil
2 large skinless chicken breasts
4 slices of prosciutto
Handful of walnut halves
2 ripe nectarines- stone removed and sliced into wedges
Small log of soft goat cheese
Mixed salad leaves such as sweet lettuce, watercress and rocket

For the dressing
2 tbsps olive oil
2 tsps Dijon mustard
1 tsp runny honey
2 tbsps lemon juice
Salt and pepper to season

1. If you want to get ahead you can make the dressing in advance simply combining all the dressing ingredients and mixing together well; chill until needed. Next up crisp the prosciutto by dry frying the slices in a frying pan over a medium heat. Remove from the heat when the prosciutto is crisp and slightly golden and set aside. Pop in the walnuts and toast for a couple of minutes before also setting aside.

2. Wrap the chicken in clingfilm and use a meat tenderiser or rolling pin to hit it out so each breast is around the same thickness so they cook evenly. Rub the chicken in a glug of olive oil and season well. Heat a griddle pan to medium- high and cook each breast for around 4 minutes on each side until you cooked through and the juices run clear. Set aside and allow to rest.

3. Add another glug of oil in the frying pan that you had cooked the prosciutto in. Heat to medium and add the nectarine wedges; fry until caramelised but still holding their shape.

4. Take a large mixing bowl and toss the salad leaves with a little of the dressing so the leaves are evenly coated. Add the prosciutto, nectarines, prosciutto and walnuts and combine well. Slice the chargrilled chicken and add. Serve on a platter so everyone can help themselves and finish by dotting the cheese over the salad; drizzle with a little more of the dressing and serve.

Chargrilled chicken, crispy prosciutto and nectarine salad- because sweet and savoury are a match made in heaven!

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Crab, king prawn and rocket spaghetti

As I’m writing this I’m sitting with the heating cranked up and considering reaching for a blanket to try and warm up so such a light pasta recipe may sound a little strange for a winter’s day. It’s simple really, I love seafood and sometimes these cravings have to be indulged regardless of the season!

Crab pasta recipes usually use white meat however I have chosen to use half white and half brown meat as this really ramps up the flavour. The addition of baby plum tomatoes are also lovely if you like. The sweetness of the crab and prawn pair perfectly with the gentle heat from the chilli and kick of acidity from the lemon so read on and get twirling that spaghetti!

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Ingredients- serves 2
200g spaghetti
Glug of olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves- finely sliced or crushed
1 red chilli- deseeded and chopped
60ml dry white wine
2 tbsp low fat crème fraiche
200g raw king prawns- deveined
200g crab meat- white or white and brown meat
50g rocket
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

1. Start by bringing a large pan of water to the boil; cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions and drain when it is perfectly al dente. Drain well.

2. Whilst the spaghetti cooks, get going on the sauce as it won’t take long. I can’t stand pasta that is drained and then stands around for ages, slowly clumping into a wonderful mess so avoid! Take a large frying pan and add a glug of oil over a medium heat. Add the garlic and red chilli and cook for a couple of minutes until softening. Add the white wine and reduce the amount by half before lowering the heat. In goes the crème fraiche and simmer for a minute or two.

3. Pop the deveined raw prawns into the pan and cook for a further minute before adding the crab meat and rocket. Simmer until the prawns are a gorgeous blush pink and the sauce is warmed through. Season to taste. If the sauce looks a little dry then add a splash of the water from the pasta pan in to loosen it slightly. I try not to add extra crème fraiche as this tends to make it even thicker and a bit claggy. When the pasta is ready, add it to the pan with sauce and toss to coat each strand of spaghetti well and finish with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice to really make the flavours sing. Serve immediately.