Friday, January 7, 2011

Full Moon Chicken Salad

I've been making this chicken salad since graduate school. My roommate loved this recipe and insisted I make it at least once a month - sometimes more often. She dubbed it Full Moon Chicken Salad and the name stuck. Even though the full moon is nearly two weeks away, you can enjoy it now or during phase of the moon.

It's a great blueprint recipe. You can add or omit ingredients. Vegetarians can replace the chicken with grilled tofu, or skip it altogether. I use avocado and tangerine, especially in winter when they're in season. In summer, I add thinly sliced red bell pepper. Feel free to be creative. Thin, julienned pickled ginger gives the salad a nice tang. Thinly sliced or shredded red cabbage is another attractive addition.

Here's the basic recipe:

5-6 C finely sliced Napa Cabbage
2 C grated carrots
1 C thinly sliced green onion
1/2 C loosely packed cilantro leaves
1/2 coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
1 C tangerine segments (or supremes with the membranes removed)
1 large avocado, not overly ripe, diced**
2 C chopped or sliced grilled chicken breast
1 finely sliced serrano chili, or less to taste (optional)

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Then make the dressing.

**To dice an avocado: Cut it in half lengthwise. Remove (and compost) the pit. Holding one half in your hand peel side down, score the flesh lengthwise and crosswise being careful to cut to the peel, but not through the peel. Then scoop out the flesh and separate the dice. Compost the skin. Repeat with the other half.

1/2 C rice vinegar
2-4 T sesame oil (or half sesame oil and half canola oil)
2 T soy sauce
1-2 T honey or agave syrup
1 T fresh finely grated ginger
1/2 t black pepper
2-3 T sesame seeds

Whisk together all the ingredients (except sesame seeds) until well combined. Pour over the salad and toss until well coated. Season with a little salt if desired. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and toss to mix in.

This week's CSA box included: iceberg lettuce, turnips, green kale, green or purple cauliflower, leeks, broccoli, arugula, mizuna, beets, Meyer lemons, avocados and tangerines.

Here's a bonus recipe from Rachel at Silver Lake Farms. She shared this with me when I picked up my veggies this afternoon. It sounds delicious.

Rachel's Kale and Cauliflower Salad

Wash and dry the cauliflower. Remove (and compost) the leaves. Break into florets and thinly slice the florets with a mandoline.

Wash and dry the kale. Remove (and compost) the tough stems. Chop finely.

Toss the cauliflower and kale together with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste.

Rachel didn't give me the proportions, but you can probably figure them out. Just use whatever amounts seem good to you.



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