And now for something completely different. Since it’s Summer and warmish (hot) outside, I was looking for hearty salads to satisfy that meal-time hunger.
America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) published The Best Chicken Recipes awhile back (2008) and flipping through it, I found and tagged so many great recipes to try.
First up – Chicken Salad with Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing! All the things I love stuffed together in a salad. Greens, shredded chicken, sun-dried tomatoes and asparagus.
If I would’ve used a shredded pre-made rotisserie chicken as they suggested, this summer salad would’ve been faster to put together.
Instead, I used what we had – chicken breasts flattened, sauteed with salt, pepper and onion powder, then cooled and shredded. That was about the most time-consuming thing about this salad.
You do, of course, have to rinse and chop the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, basil and asparagus, but that goes quickly.
The sun-dried tomato dressing is awesome and pulls this salad together perfectly. The ingredients are thrown in a blender or food processor and blended till fairly smooth.
After the asparagus is sauteed and tender-crisp, it’s mixed into the dressing, along with the shredded chicken and basil.
Put together your greens and plop some of the chicken mixture on top, along with dots of goat cheese and toasted pine nuts. Divine!
It was really hard to stop eating this wonderful salad. I’d pay big bucks for it at a restaurant!
Of course, I don’t make any recipe without a big mess. My husband was amazed at how many dishes and cutting boards I used to make it.
Plus, I think he stepped on a runaway bit of goat cheese. Not pleasant to have goat cheese between your toes.
Again, you can save a lot of time (and utensils) by using a rotisserie chicken.
I added strawberries to this Chicken Salad with Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing and it took it over the top – savory, salty, sweet, crunchy – we loved this salad!
- 1/2 C plus 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed of ends and cut into 1-inch pieces
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1/2 C sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained, rinsed, and minced.
- 1/4 C red wine vinegar
- 1 small garlic clove, minced (about 1/2 tsp)
- 5 C shredded chicken, room temperature
- 1/2 C chopped fresh basil
- 16 oz. mixed lettuce
- 3 oz. goat cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 C)
- 1/2 C pine nuts, toasted
- 8 oz fresh strawberries, small chopped
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet, over medium high heat. Salt and pepper the asparagus and add it to the pan, stirring occasionally until asparagus is crisp-tender and browned, about 3 minutes.
- Puree the remaining 1/2 C of oil, the sun-dried tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper in a blender or food processor until fairly smooth. (You can pre-make the dressing and keep refrigerated for up to 24- hours. Bring to room temperature before assembling the salad.)
- Add the asparagus, shredded chicken, and basil into the vinaigrette, season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir until chicken is lightly coated.
- Plate the salad greens on 6 plates and scoop generous portions of the chicken salad on top of each plate of greens. Before serving, sprinkle with goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, and chopped strawberries.
The chicken salad mixture (before added to the greens) can be refrigerated for 24 hours. Just bring it to room temperature before serving.
Tips to make this quicker to put together: use pre-made rotisserie chicken, use already crumbled goat cheese.
You can easily half this recipe.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 383Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 306mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 35g
Nutrition Values are Approximate