Baby lettuce with chicken, raspberry and walnut oil vinaigrette and Parmesan tuiles (Serves 4)

Delicate parmesan tuiles make any bowl of lettuce instantly more glamorous. They sound complicated but they are simply grated parmesan baked into a lacy wafer. The dressing is also key; the mixture of balsamic and raspberry vinegars and nut oil makes a top-shelf vinaigrette.


50g parmesan cheese, finely grated

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

2 boneless chicken breasts with skin on

4 large handfuls of mesclun (mixed young lettuce leaves), about 100g total weight

​200g raspberries

4 spring onions, white part only, thinly sliced

4 tbsp raspberry vinegar

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 tbsp walnut or hazelnut oil

1 tsp dijon mustard

Freshly ground black pepper

50g walnut halves

2 tbsp clear honey

½ tsp salt, plus extra for seasoning

1 tbsp caster sugar

2 tsp vegetable oil


Preheat the oven to 200C.

Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper. It’s very important that the paper is silicone treated or non-stick as the parmesan tuiles can be difficult to remove from ordinary parchment baking paper.

To make the parmesan tuiles, sprinkle the cheese into 8x8cm rounds. Keep them flat and not too thick in the middle. Bake for 6–7 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Leave to cool on the sheet.

Meanwhile, make the caramelised walnuts. Toss the walnuts with the other ingredients on a separate baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes. Transfer to a non-stick baking paper and leave to crisp up.

Heat the oil in a small ovenproof frying pan. Place the chicken skin-side down and sear until golden, about 5 minutes. Turn over and sear on the other side. Place the chicken in the preheated oven to finish off cooking for another 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove and leave to rest for 5 minutes, then slice into thick pieces.

While the chicken is cooking, make the raspberry and walnut oil vinaigrette. Put all the ingredients in a screw-top jar, season with salt and pepper and shake well, then set aside.

Place the lettuce leaves on individual plates or a large platter and arrange the raspberries, spring onions, chicken and caramelised walnuts on top. Pour the dressing over and top each plate with 2 parmesan tuiles.

The dressing can be prepared the day before and refrigerated. The nuts and parmesan tuiles can also be made a day ahead and stored in airtight containers.- Independent

Recipe from The Well-Dressed Salad by Jennifer Joyce, which is available at for R192.

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