Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Skidmore College's Chicken, Strawberry, and Spinach Salad

On a hot summer night, a dinner salad might be the most refreshing thing to serve. My dad used to make us tuna salads on plates of iceberg lettuce with slices of tomatoes and cucumber, dressed in Good Seasons Italian, the kind you mix in the free cruet. The thought of it makes my mouth water!

I love a nice dinner salad, and was very happy when I came across this Chicken, Strawberry, and Spinach Salad (recipe follows) a number of years ago. It was so delicious that I had to find the recipe right away. It’s another gem from award-winning Skidmore College’s Food Services. It is served at many of the fanciest dinners, and the presentation is beautiful. The fact that it is easy to throw together, and the flavor combinations are so delicious, makes this a recipe you’ll reach for over and over again on warm summer nights.

Chicken, Strawberry, and Spinach Salad
6 side servings/3 main-dish servings

½ c. poppy seed dressing
1 teaspoon orange rind, grated
1 tablespoon orange juice

6 cups spinach, or assorted greens, torn
1 pound asparagus
2 cups fresh, sliced strawberries
1 pound baked chicken, cut in to julienne strips
¼ cup pecan or walnut halves

Snap woody base from asparagus and, if desired, scrape off scales. Cut asparagus into 1” pieces and cook until just crisp-tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Mix poppy see dressing, orange peel, and orange juice; set aside.

Combine greens and put on serving plates. Mix the asparagus, chicken, and strawberries. Place in the middle of greens and top with pecans. Just before serving, drizzle dressing over salad.

Photo credit: http://www.greengiantfresh.com/images/recipes/chicken_strawberry.jpg

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