I can’t get enough of this salad. This is the second time I’ve tried to replicate my favourite French salad made with lettuce, fennel, red onion, chicken & fresh basil pesto. This was definitely a big improvement on my previous attempt.

The first picture I’ve used is while I’m still preparing the salad and before I’ve dressed it with the pesto, balsamic vinegar and mayo-esque dressing.

Food styling photography tip – dishes often look better while still raw, semi-cooked or in the process of being assembled, rather than fully cooked or assembled. If you see the second picture of my salad dressed, the image all becomes a bit same-y. I also wasn’t able to arrange on smaller plates due to time and the fact I wanted to get stuck into eating the salad!

For this attempt I used:

Roast chicken pieces, be generous here 

Butterhead Salad leaves in a bag

Babyleaf Salad leaves in a bag

Rocket leaves in a bag

1 Fennel, fronds removed, cut in half & mandolined

1 Medium Red Onion Mandolined into thin slices

1 Regular size fresh tub Basil Pesto

Tomatoes Sliced thinly on mandoline.

More tomatoes cut into eighths

1 Yellow Pepper Mandolined

Two dessert spoons free range mayonnaise mixed with a generous glug Oliver oil and generous splash of Balsamic Vinegar

Pine nuts (approx 200 gram) toasted in the oven for about fifteen minutes at about 190 degrees.