I was asked to bring a chicken salad for a ladies lunch earlier this month and wanted to avoid anything too heavy, weeping with too much mayonnaise. A crisp greens salad with tender chicken and ripe fruit make for a lovely, light meal. I found this recipe from Mark Bittman to be easy, different, and refreshing.
Firm plums in season are perfect here, but peaches, apples, pears, or berries also taste well if you prefer.
Vary the almonds as well with walnuts, pine nuts, or pecans. Another variation is to marinate the chicken in a balsamic vinaigrette overnight before grilling and chilling as an ingredient. Makes 4-6 servings.
3-4 medium Plums, or other fruit, pitted, thinly sliced, skin on
¼ Cup + 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar, measured separate
¾ cup sliced Almonds
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1-2 Tablespoons fresh Oregano, chopped (1 tsp dried)
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Celery stalks, thinly sliced
½ Red Onion, chopped
8 ounces roasted or grilled boneless, skinless Chicken, chopped or shredded
(about 2 cups)
6 cups mixed Salad Greens, torn into bite size pieces
1. Toss the plums with the 2 T vinegar in a large salad bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 15 minutes
and up to 2 hours.
2. Place almonds on baking pan and roast in preheated oven at 300°F for 7-10 minutes. Toss almonds with
spatula and roast for another 5-10 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool.
3. Place ¼ cup vinegar, olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper in blender to mix well.
4. Add chicken, celery, onion to plums in large bowl, folding gently with spatula. Add ½ of dressing from
blender. (Can refrigerate at this point for an hour or so before serving.)
5. Toss salad greens in separate large or serving bowl with remaining ½ of dressing.
6. Top salad greens with chicken-plum mixture. Greens can be individually plated before being topped with
7. Garnish with toasted almonds.