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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Chicken, Strawberry, & Tarragon Salad w/ Cashews & Cashel Blue

Chicken, Strawberry, & Tarragon Salad w/ Cashews & Cashel Blue |
Every time I make a salad, I make a proclamation that it's only the first in a line of many that will be gracing my table in weeks to come.  Visions of salad plates and dainty forks dance in my head.  And then tomorrow rolls around I promptly forget that decree.

Seriously.  Every.  Single.  Time.

Apparently I have issues.  I mean, I like "meal" salads - salads with cojones, if you know what I'm sayin'.  Sure, I like lettuce of all sorts.  I'm a fan of spinach.  Arugula's my back-door man.  Little baby micro-greens make me squee.  But (you knew that was coming, didn't ya?), I prefer them all when combined with something else.
Chicken, Strawberry, & Tarragon Salad w/ Cashews & Cashel Blue |
Grilled steak.  Warm pulled chicken.  Chewy baked tofu.  Crisped prosciutto.  A soft poached egg that bleeds sunshine.  Sweet, ripe berries.  Hearty cooked grains.  Crunchy, salty nuts or seeds.  Cheese that packs a wallop.  Creamy beans.  Lentils.

You get my drift.  Like I said - cojones.

This salad is just the type I'm talking about.   When eating a salad like this, you must (must!) slide the tines of your fork through each and every component before taking a bite.  Doing that causes major salad-love.  More than that really.  Salad-stalking.  Salad-craving.   Proclamations that you are only going to eat this salad from now on...for every meal.  Even if you do forget about it tomorrow.

Chicken, Strawberry, & Tarragon Salad w/ Cashews & Cashel Blue
All at once crunchy, salty, pungent, creamy, sweet, and bright with a faint whisper of peppery anise from the tarragon. I like this best with still-warm chicken.
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Chicken, Strawberry, & Tarragon Salad w/ Cashews & Cashel Blue
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: n/a
Keywords: salad chicken lettuce strawberries tarragon spring summer

Ingredients (serves 1)
    for the Salad:
    • Tarragon Vinaigrette, to taste (recipe follows)
    • couple handfuls mixed salad greens (any kind you like)
    • leaves from a couple of fresh tarragon sprigs
    • 1 rotisserie chicken breast, pulled apart (warm, room temperature, or cold - I like it warm)
    • 6 sweet, ripe strawberries, hulled & quartered
    • big handful of roasted, salted cashews
    • Cashel Blue cheese, crumbled
    for the Tarragon Vinaigrette:
    • 3 tablespoons "light" olive oil (or other lighter, neutral oil)
    • 1-2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
    • 1/2 of a small shallot, minced
    • few sprigs of fresh tarragon, minced
    • big pinch sea salt
    • a few grates of freshly ground black pepper
    assembling the salad:
    Toss the salad greens, tarragon leaves, and the pulled chicken with a good drizzle of the vinaigrette - don't drown the leaves, just lightly dress them. Start small, you can always add more.

    Place onto a serving plate and top scatter everything else over the top.

    That's it - enjoy!

    making the vinaigrette:
    Make as much as you like, just keep the oil to vinegar ratio at approximately 3:1, respectively (though really, with this particular vinaigrette, I would probably increase the vinegar by a bit).

    Place everything in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake it like it's going out of style. Store in fridge. Shake again just before using.

    You probably don't need a recipe for salad, so I've just given you rough amounts as to what I used for one good-sized salad. Adjust to suit your tastes.
    Chicken, Strawberry, & Tarragon Salad w/ Cashews & Cashel Blue |

    Chicken, Strawberry and Tarragon Salad with Cashews and Cashel Blue