Summertime is a great time to embrace healthy eating as the warmer weather naturally steers us towards colourful salads, seasonal fruits, grilled seafood and bbq’d* meats, bringing us closer to the halo’ed Mediterranean diet. Out with the stodgy winter pies and gravies, and in with the best that summer can offer; pick your own strawberries, runner beans, fresh garden salads, plums straight from the tree, and so much more. With so many of us holidaying around the Med, its only natural that we take inspiration from their diet, considered to be one of the healthiest in promoting longevity. At the heart of everything, is simplicity. Two or three ingredients, perfectly cooked, and served with care.
Chicken, with pomodorini and basil
Ingredients (Serves 2-4): 2 chicken breasts <500g, 8-10 cherry tomatoes, 1 bunch of basil leaves, salt and pepper, olive oil, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon quarters
Preparation: <1 hrs cooking time (based on exact weight of the chicken).
1. Pre-heat oven to 180-190C
2. Prepare an oven-proof dish with a small amount of olive oil to cover the tray.
3. Place the chicken breasts in the dish and lightly score with a knife.
4. Wash and half the tomatoes place in the dish around and over the chicken.
5. Lastly roughly chop the basil leaves and sprinkle across the chicken and tomatoes.
6. Cover with baking paper / foil for the first 30-40 minutes to help cook the meat evenly, and place the dish in the oven. Remove the paper after 40 mins.
7. Once the cooking time is complete check the meat with a large skewer by inserting it into the centre of the meat and seeing if the juices that escape run clear. If there is any sign of blood return to the oven and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. Repeat this same process until cooked through.
8. Serve wwith a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
*When BBQ’ing, avoid eating burnt or charcoaled foods which may contain carcinogenic properties.