I’ve never been one for sweet and savoury.
Sweet and sour pork from the Chinese takeaway haunts my childhood and raisins in my dinner? No thank you.
When I became a real proper grown up however, my tastebuds must have matured, because a) I now like raisins, and b) I’ll willingly put sweet fruit in savoury dishes, like nectarine with feta, or mango with sundried tomato chicken.
And I can also devour a bar of sea salt dark chocolate in no time at all.
When it comes to satisfying my sweet and salt craving though, I like to eat something a little better than a 100g bar of chocolate. And when I say better, I mean better for my body, because there is nothing ‘better’ than a bar of sea salt dark chocolate. Got it? Good.
This is how my internal dinner dialogue goes:
- I’m extremely very hungry
- Ooh good, let’s eat. Eating is my favourite and I’m very good at it
- What can I have that’s sweet and salty at the sa..
- SEA SALT DARK CHOCOLATE!
- YES! But no, what can I eat that’s sweet and salty and also super good for me in a delicious, ‘I-don’t-feel-like-I’m-missing-anything’ kind of way?
- What about that crunchy slaw thing you made with the mango and the salty sundried tomato chicken? You wouldn’t shut up about that one.
- YES Sam! Sundried tomato chicken with mango slaw and herby dressing it is.
- Followed by some sea salt dark chocolate. We’re the best.
- Yay for us.
- Yay for mango.
- Yay for food.
I think the crunch is my favourite part. There’s something so satisfying about a big forkful of fresh crunchy veggies, especially when coated in the yummiest dressing of all time. In fact maybe the dressing is my favourite part..? It’s a very good part. And makes enough to decant into a jar and pop in the fridge and then pour over every meal for the next few days. Yay for dressings.
If you’re vegan, skip the chicken and toast a big handful of cashews or almonds, then mix them up with some sundried tomatoes and fresh herbs and pour over the top of the slaw. Or blitz the tommies in a food processor WITH the toasted nuts and fresh basil and garlic and olive oil and salt (because of the sweet and salt thing) and make a tomatoey nutty tapenade-style dollop of goodness. Oh wow that sounds good.
So many options. So much dinner. Sweet and salt for the win.
To the recipe!
*This recipe requires at least one hour of marinating time, ideally. If you can, it’s best to marinate overnight as this will bring out the best flavour. However, there is a suggestion below if you’d like to eat this straight away.*
For the marinade
- Handful of fresh basil, chopped (or 1 tsp dried basil)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- ¼ cup (40g) sundried tomatoes, chopped small
- 2 tbsp oil – either from the sundried tomatoes jar or olive oil (or both)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 chicken breasts
For the slaw
- 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks, grated or julienned
- ½ large fennel bulb, cut into matchsticks, grated or julienned
- ½ mango, finely sliced or julienned
- Squeeze of lemon juice (optional – helps prevent the veggies from browning)
- 1 tsp dried parsley, basil or mixed green herbs
- Pinch of salt
For the dressing
- 1 bunch (roughly 50g) fresh coriander or fresh parsley, or mixture of both
- 50-75ml olive oil
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar (or apple cider/red wine/white vinegar)
- 1 large garlic clove, cut into smaller chunks
- Big pinch of salt
Marinate the chicken
Combine all the marinade ingredients with a big pinch of salt and pepper, either mixed in a bowl or whizzed in a food processor to break down the sundried tomatoes. Cover the chicken in the marinade and pop in the fridge for as long as you can (overnight is ideal) or at least one hour. If you want to eat this right now, I would recommend grilling the chicken with some salt and pepper, slicing once cooked, and then stirring into the marinade to serve. You might want to reduce the oil if doing it this way.
- Put all the slaw ingredients in a large bowl and combine with your hands until the dried herbs and salt are evenly distributed. Set aside.
- Heat a griddle pan on a high heat and, once hot, add the chicken breasts to the pan. Fry on one side until you can see the edges turning opaque (about 4-5 minutes) then flip over. Cook for a further 4-5 minutes or until the juices run clear and the meat is opaque in the middle.
- While the chicken cooks, pop all the dressing ingredients in a food processor, starting with 50ml olive and blitz until smooth. Add the extra olive oil and a little water if necessary to reach your desired consistency.
- To serve, plate up the slaw and top with the marinated chicken, sprinkling over any crunchy sundried tomatoes from the pan. Drizzle over the dressing and enjoy!