Rocket Salad with Chicken and Red Currants

redc_saladppWith their unique sharp flavours, red currants count for me among the biggest stars of the summer. They are perfect in preserves, fantastic in desserts or cakes, but my favourite option is simply eating them raw. As much as I love red currants, I would have never tried adding them fresh to a savoury dish, if it wasn’t for Hugh’s Three Good Things where I discovered this slightly surprising rocket/arugula salad.

As I have already mentioned here, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s book contains recipes calling each for only three main ingredients (plus seasoning). The ideas seem at first simple, but they are actually very creative and inspiring, often with small changes that make all the difference, such as putting red currants into a salad. These tangy berries were so perfect with rocket and chicken, now their presence feels as obvious and justified as, say, adding olives. Not to mention a pleasantly refreshing and original touch they make in this rather ordinary salad. Now I have one more reason to wait for red currants all year long!

I have slightly modified the original recipe, mainly mixing rocket with some other salad leaves. For the original recipe and other fantastic ideas, check Hugh’s Three Good Things.

TIP: White currants could be substituted here, but I’m not sure about black currants….

The amount of red currants depends on their sweetness and your own preferences (even when very ripe, they are always rather tangy).

Preparation: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

leftover boiled, grilled or roast chicken, cut into slices or bite-sized pieces

rocket (or a mixture of rocket and other salad leaves)

red currants (berries only)

vinaigrette (I prefer here the simplest one: olive oil, wine vinegar, salt and pepper)

Place the salad ingredients into a bowl or on a plate.

Sprinkle with the vinaigrette and serve.

30 Replies to “Rocket Salad with Chicken and Red Currants”

  1. Currants aren’t often seen in our markets but they make a beautiful flavour addition and garnish to the hearty arugula/rocket salad and chicken.

  2. Beautiful salad Sissi, especially with the red current…which I can never find it here….sniff sniff…
    This is the kind of meal that I like, healthy and pretty for the eyes.
    Hope you are enjoying your week 😀

  3. Red current is something one doesn’t see much around here. ONCE I saw red currents at the growers market and bought them. I made jam with them, but if I had had this salad recipe back then, I probably would have gone for the salad. I can make jam out of anything. Rocket is something else I don’t see much, I bet I could grow it now that I have a garden. 🙂 I go to the market tomorrow, so I’ll start ask around for currents. Thanks for sharing this very simple and unusual salad! You picture is gorgeous with the salad and the red and green. Great shot!

    1. Thank you so much, MJ, for the compliments (I was so hungry, I took the photograph very quickly actually; I guess it’s the currants’ magic 😉 ). Do sow rocket (arugula)! It grows like weed… Even on my humble balcony! I cross my fingers and hope you’ll find red currants.

  4. I love dried currants that are in scones, but never had fresh kinds before. So pretty, like jewels! The salad not only looks perfect in this warm weather, but it’s pretty to look at, which works great in party!

    1. Thank you so much, Nami. Actually, “dried currants” are not currants, but a kind of raisins… I made the mistake once in a British shop, where I bought “dried currants” which proved to be dried raisins… I don’t think I have ever seen these dried, but they would be very tangy, I think. A bit like cranberries.

  5. Currents are such a European fruit, we don’t often see in our markets. They do make a perfect addition to a savoury salad. I can see pomegranate as a viable replacement here. The photo is beautiful, Sissi.

    1. Thank you, Karen. Currants have a lot of character and they are less popular than strawberries here too. Most people cannot eat them raw (I do, though), but they are amazing in cakes or in a jelly or… in a salad 🙂

  6. I’ve been getting loads of redcurrants from work and to be honest, they are not my favourite berries because they are quite tart and have a seed in the centre that I don’t really like. Not really sure what to do with them but love your idea of pairing it with a decidedly savoury salad. Definitley trying this out as I have so much to finish!

    1. Hi, Shuhan. You should make a jelly from them. It’s the first thing most people think of when seeing red currants (at least those who buy them). They have such a huge amount of pectin… they keep forever in the pantry and the jelly is fantastic.

  7. You’ve just got to love those 3 ingredient wonder dishes! I too appreciate the bold contrast that fruit can deliver in delightful salads like this. Both the arugula and the red currants deliver such diverse flavors – and beauty – it’s amazing to think that they are just two ingredients. This dish brings chicken salad to a whole other level. I will have to try and grow arugula; I had no idea it was so easy… so much to learn.

    1. Thank you so much, Kelly. I really love this book. I had no idea it would be so inspiring and full of fantastic, but practical ideas. The first time I grew rocket, I was really glad to discovery it was so easy. I’m sure you have even a better climate (and of course conditions, since I have only a small balcony box).

  8. Ahhh… We would have needed this recipe beginning of July. We collected so many red currant, we didn’t know at the time what to do with all the fruits. We made some syrup as we always do but I bet my family would have enjoyed your salad too Sissi. =)

    1. Sorry I was late 😉 I used to eat red currants all my life but never had had this idea before I saw it in the book…

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