You will probably hear me talk a lot about how much I love the world of Food Blogging. While I’ve been blogging since 2006, I’ve only really honed in on the Food Blogging World the past 3 or so years. And with it I’ve met and made some wonderful friends from all over the world, who share my passion for Food.
Deidre over at Just A Pinch of Ginger, is one of them. Deidre and I started chatting last year, and connected immediately. She’s originally from Northern British Columbia and so am I, although we never lived there at the same time. Even though we have yet to meet in person, I can honestly say it feels like I’ve known Deidre forever. You know that feeling when you meet someone and it’s just comfortable. You feel like you can talk about anything? Ya that. Deidre and I will be seeing each other at a couple of Food Blogger Conferences later this year and I can’t wait to enjoy some good food, beverages and laughs with her.
I love her inspiration for this salad that includes “Heaven at the top of Spanish Steps”, so make sure you get to know this month’s Guest Blogger, Deidre over at Just A Pinch of Ginger.
I was delighted to be invited to share a recipe with Bakersbeans because the most rewarding aspect of blogging is becoming part of such an inclusive community, and I am thrilled to have made a friend in Wanda through our shared passion. I began this journey as ‘Just A Pinch Of Ginger’ just over a year ago. A wonderful friend convinced me to blog instead of writing a family cookbook, and it simply evolved from there. It has been quite the wild ride. I must admit I’ve been shocked by the response, who knew people would actually want to hear about my recipes and crazy family?! My previous careers have included teacher, interior designer, florist and dance studio owner…eclectic, I realize. That’s me! Although I have no formal training as a cook, I have always been fascinated with ‘playing’ with my food and over the last couple of decades I’ve been experimenting on my six children. Yup, I said six. Nineteen all the way down to almost nine year old twins. It’s never boring, let’s put it that way. We traveled a lot as a family and I’m thankful for the opportunities to have my taste buds pushed to their very limits. Many of my own food adventures have started with trying to replicate some delectable dish gobbled down in a foreign country.
The recipe I’m sharing here was inspired by a day in Italy, Rome to be exact. We had been visiting the sights all morning…hitting some big ones; Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Boboli Gardens and we were all exhausted! Not only from the walking and map reading and heat, but also the non-stop ‘posing’. Yes, that’s correct…posing. When you visit a country that adores families as much as Italia, with many, very blonde little kids in tow, you become somewhat of a celebrity. Every time we tried to take a quick shot as a family, we’d have several people…uhm…add their kids to our pictures and begin snapping away. The photo sessions inevitably ended with warm compliments, enquiring about each name and enthusiastic cheek pinching. Much to the chagrin of my offspring. Ahhh well…’bella, bella famiglia’…what can I say?
Our frazzled tribe were caught in a sudden downpour and ducked into a restaurant that we would not have sought out otherwise. Too pricey. Too frou-frou. We quickly ordered the cheapest thing on the menu, an antipasto platter. I was just thinking easy, finger food. What they served up was instead, a little sample of heaven! This was well before the current ‘I Must take a photo of every meal’ craze, so I have no photo evidence. You’ll just have to trust me…Heaven at the top of the Spanish Steps. I’ve combined my favourite elements of that platter into this salad, with a few adjustments to keep the minions happy. Hope you enjoy…buon appetito!
Just A Pinch Of Ginger can be found here & there & everywhere! Follow her here:
- 4 chicken breasts
- 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbs garlic dried
- 1 tbs sea salt
- 1 tbs oregano dried
- 1 tbs basil dried
- 1 tsp marjoram dried
- 1 tsp thyme dried
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese dried & grated
- 3 heads of romaine lettuce washed and torn into bite-size pieces
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 1 cup kalamata olives pitted
- 1 cup caper berries
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves torn
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese shaved thinly
- 1/2 cup pistachios shelled
- Pre-heat oven to 400.
- Combine garlic, salt, oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme, pepper and parmesan in a small bowl, mix well
- Use olive oil to grease a small pan, rub chicken breasts with spice mixture and arrange in pan.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until inside of chicken is white. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add the lettuce, tomatoes, olives and caper berries, slowly add in about a cup of the dressing, toss until covered.
- Sliced the chilled chicken breasts into thin strips.
- On a large platter gently toss the salad with the chicken strips.
- Use the basil leaves, shaved parmesan and pistachios to garnish...sprinkle on more dressing if you so desire.