Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Big green salad with chicken, dates and various other things

This is a recipe that I first tried months ago; I ended up not posting about it, because it felt so simple that it wasn’t really worth a recipe. I’m starting to see, however, that it was exactly what I needed at the time, and it fits my current circumstances because it is good and filling while being easy and highly adaptable. The idea for this came from The Kitchn. It’s for a green salad that the original poster made with lettuce, chicken, dates, smoked almonds and goat cheese. I used lettuce, chicken, chickpeas and dates, but some lactose-free goat cheese would have been lovely in there too, and maybe some roasted pecans. You can make this salad with whatever you have on hand – but I do recommend using the dates, they were a great touch. The quantities below are only indicative, so you can adjust them (this would make almost 10 servings, but I rarely make anything with more than 4), and feel free to substitute at will (anything here is optional, and the list is not exhaustive). You can of course make this salad without nuts or animals products if you so wish.

1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
1 head red-leaf lettuce, shredded
1 small head red cabbage, shredded very fine
1 small endive, chopped OR 1 fennel bulb, finely shaved
6 shallots OR ½ red onion, finely chopped
1 cup dried dates, pitted and chopped in quarters
1 cup smoked salted almonds OR roasted pecans, roughly chopped
1 12-oz can kidney beans, rinsed and well drained
1 12-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and well drained
4 oz lactose-free goat cheese or smoked goat cheese, crumbled
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
avocado, cubed
cooked chicken, cut into bite-size pieces

3 Tbsp light vinegar, like rice vinegar or Champagne vinegar
½ cup light oil, like very light olive or safflower oil

Mix the greens and cabbage in a large bowl. Toss with the finely chopped shallots or red onion, dates, almonds, and legumes. Toss with the goat cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and avocado.

Whisk the vinegar and oil together until emulsified, then pour over the salad mix and toss.

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