Oh dear, it looks like your browser is out of date.

For security, you need to update your browser before shopping with us. Or, try shopping on our smartphone and tablet app.

You are in:
  • Recipes
  • Nigella’s Sensational Summer Salad
Nigella’s Sensational Summer Salad

Nigella’s Sensational Summer Salad

Brought to you by: Nigella
5.0 2 ratings Review this recipe

Prep time:

Cook time:

Serves: 8

“My Sensational Summer Salad is a beautiful pile-up of a dish: crunchy, parmesan-sprinkled lettuce encircling a mound of bulgur wheat studded with vegetables and topped with garlicky, crisp-skinned chicken that’s splodged fragrantly with a basil sauce. I let the bulgur wheat dominate, keeping the chicken modestly portioned, but if you’re feeding ravenous carnivores, by all means cook more chicken.” Looking for more Nigella recipes? Look no further.

Share recipe


  • 1.8 kg whole chicken, preferably organic
  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 8 tbsp Mellow Yellow Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 lemon, finely zested, plus 2 tbsp and 2 tsp juice
  • 100g flat-leaf parsley, stalks finely chopped to give 3 tbsp, and leaves chopped
  • 500g bulgur wheat
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 360g M&S Piccolo Vine Tomatoes, quartered
  • 300g radishes, quartered
  • 2 courgettes (approx. 300g), diced
  • 100g Opies Pickled Walnuts, drained and chopped
  • 100g walnut halves, broken into pieces
  • 1 (100g) pack fresh basil
  • 50g M&S Authentic Greek Yoghurt 10% Fat
  • 2 packs M&S Dolce Romana lettuce, torn into large-ish, bite-size pieces
  • 25g grated parmesan


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7 (though it would be better to leave the fan off). Spatchcock the chicken by laying it breast-side down and cutting along either side of the backbone to remove it, using a sturdy pair of kitchen scissors. Turn it over and press down to flatten, arranging the legs so it lies flat.

Step 2

Sit the chicken and the backbone in a large, shallow roasting tin and tumble in the garlic cloves. Pour 3 tbsp oil over the chicken skin, then sprinkle with 1 tsp sea salt flakes. Pour 200ml freshly boiled water into the bottom of the tin and roast for 50 mins or until the juices run clear (insert the tip of a sharp knife where the leg meets the body to test).

Step 3

Leave to rest in the tin for 15 mins, then separate the legs from the breast, and cut off the wings, transferring all the chicken (save for the backbone, which I like to chew on as a cook’s treat!) to a large board to cool for up to 1½ hrs.

Step 4

Remove the garlic cloves from the tin and squeeze out the soft caramel flesh into a medium-sized bowl that you can use with a stick blender later. Pour and scrape the roasting juices into the bowl of garlic, and leave this to one side.

Step 5

Meanwhile, prepare the bulgur wheat. Heat 2 tbsp oil over a low heat in a heavy-based pan with a lid (I use one of 24 cm diameter). Add the lemon zest and chopped parsley stalks, stirring them in the pan for 30 secs.

Step 6

Turn the heat to high, add the bulgur wheat and turn in the pan until the oil is absorbed and the wheat evenly flecked with parsley and lemon. Pour over 750ml cold water, then add 1 tsp fine salt and bring to the boil. Clamp on the lid, turn the heat to low and cook for 15 mins, by which time the water should be absorbed and the grains soft. Take it off the heat, lift the lid and cover the pan with a clean (non-waffle) tea towel. Clamp the lid back on and leave for 10-15 mins, then add 1 tbsp lemon juice and fluff up the bulgur wheat with a couple of large forks. Turn out into a large dish to cool.

Step 7

Shortly before serving the salad, add the quartered tomatoes and radishes, the diced courgette and chopped pickled and regular walnuts to the cold bulgur wheat, and toss to mix. Add the chopped parsley leaves, tossing to mix again. Taste and season as required.

Step 8

For the sauce, tear the leaves off the bunch of basil, dropping them on top of the now-cold chicken juices and garlic in their bowl. Add the yoghurt and 2 tsp lemon juice, then purée, using a stick blender, to make a smooth, gorgeously green and fragrant sauce with a thick pouring consistency. Add salt to taste.

Step 9

Drop the lettuce into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle over the parmesan. Toss to combine, then add 1 tbsp lemon juice and 3 tbsp oil and toss to mix. Arrange the dressed lettuce around the edge of a very large platter (I use one of 45 cm diameter). Or arrange on 2 smaller platters if you like (but double up the salad ingredients if so).

Step 10

Tip the prepared bulgur wheat into the middle of the garlanded serving platter and flatten the top slightly.

Step 11

Tear the chicken off the bone and cut into large chunks still with the skin on. Sit the chicken on top of the bulgur wheat, then spoon over the basil sauce.

Tips or serving suggestions

Allow 15 mins resting time for the chicken, plus cooling time for the bulgur wheat and up to 1½ hrs for the chicken to cool.

Shop the ingredients

You might like

    The reviews are in: