It was such a beautiful weekend here on Vancouver Island, I decided to further celebrate the fabulosity of spring by conjuring up a charming little salad.
Inspired by the flavours of Asia, I let my imagination run wild at our local farmer's market, and picked up the fixins to make this...
Asian Inspired Chicken and Greens Salad
This is the time of year I get back into the mood for the crunchy coolness of veggies and enjoy preparing a balance of our weekly meals without starchy carbohydrates like potatoes which often seem too heavy in the hot weather.
To create this savoury/sweet salad yourself, you will want to start early in the day by making the salad dressing - which just gets better and better as the flavours meld together.
You will also be marinating some boneless, skinless chicken breasts and will need need one breast per person.
For the Salad Dressing
1/2 cup extra virgin olive or grapeseed oil (I prefer grapeseed oil as the flavour is less intense)
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
one tsp hot chili sauce (optional)
1/2 cup juice from can of mandarin oranges (reserve mandarines to use in salad)
1/2 cup mayonaisse
1 tsp fresh minced ginger or 1/2 tsp dried
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1/2 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until everything is combined.
This will make enough dressing for several salads. Let sit at least an hour before serving so the flavours can meld.
For the marinade
1/4 cup rice wine or white vinegar
3 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp hot chili sauce (optional)
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp fresh minced ginger
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl
Stab chicken breasts all over so that they better absorb the marinade
Put chicken into a sealable plastic and bag and pour marinade inside.
Mix all around and refrigerate for at least two hours (6-8 hours is best)
Grill until done and then brush each chicken breast generously with peach or mango chutney (this is optional - it adds another wonderful punch of flavour but isn't necessary)
Set aside while you build your salad.
For the salad:
One head green leaf lettuce washed and torn, or a mixture of spring or field greens
3 chopped green onions
1 cucumber, diced
1 avocado diced
1/2 package sugar snap peas
2 stalks diced celery
one cup toasted cashews
One can drained mandarin orange slices
Salt and pepper to taste
Throw all of these ingredients into a bowl and toss with about 3/4 cup of the dressing (start with less and then add more as you need it depending on how creamy you like your salad.
Plate the salad. Slice the chicken and place atop the salad.
Drizzle with a little more dressing.
A wonderful salad courtesy of Maven, The Kitchen Witch
For PRINTABLE RECIPE click here