Saturday, July 05, 2014
Cool Dinner Salad
Well, here we are in the middle of the year, the beginning of July. Hot evenings are part of that mid year time, at least above the equator. Some evenings the fog rolls in, like last night, and we can enjoy eating indoors and scarfing down a warm lamb braise over rice. (Yes, I know it was national hot dog and hamburger day, the 4th of July, but we had lamb. I'm still a patriot, but it was pretty chilly out around here.)
It was much warmer earlier in the week when we enjoyed this delicious chicken salad with pecans and grapes. I had some a couple of days later for lunch, surrounded by wedges of local tomatoes. Great combo! I had been inspired by a chicken and grape salad I saw at a local deli, but I basically threw together what I thought should go into this kind of salad, without a recipe. Hope you like it.
Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans
3-4 cups diced cooked chicken (I poached chicken breasts in chicken broth, with some celery tops and peppercorns added, then cooled them, drained them and diced them up into bite sized pieces)
1 cup red or green seedless grapes, halved
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
juice of 1/2 a lemon
milk as needed
1 teaspoon Italian parsley, finely chopped
In a large bowl gently mix together the chicken, grapes, pecans and celery.
In a small bowl mix together the mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, thyme, and lemon juice. Add enough milk to make the dressing as thick as Ranch dressing (a little thicker than heavy cream). Pour over the chicken mixture and gently stir to combine thoroughly. Chill for at least 1 hour.
When read to serve, garnish with the parsley. Serve as is, over a bed of lettuce, in cups made from hollowed out tomatoes, garnished with more grapes or with wedges of tomato.
Serves 4 - 6