Strawberry Chicken Salad

4 or 5 large handfuls of mixed greens
5 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
3/4 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 large avocado, chopped...

1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 T brown sugar

1/3 cup slivered almonds, sugared (see tips below)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon strawberry jam (a little less if you don't like sweet dressing)
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

See the tip below to make the sugared almonds
Place the greens in a large bowl. Add all of the other ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients. Drizzle in the vinaigrette a little at a time, as desired, and toss (you may not wish to use it all).  Divide among plates and serve immediately.

To make the sugared almonds: In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon brown sugar over medium heat until it begins to melt. Add the almonds to the pan and toss rapidly until the sugar coats all of the almonds and the almonds are lightly toasted. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of cayenne pepper, if you'd like to add some spice to them. Pour them out onto a glass dish and separate almonds with a fork. Cool until hardened and break into pieces.

Jan Tanis
Jan Tanis

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