After all the rain in Jersey this week, the days are getting longer, warmer and….finally….sunnier, and hinting at the possibility of spring actually arriving and summer not far behind. It’s been a long, cold, snowy winter here in Jersey so this makes me very very happy. It’s time to make a dinner salad and dream of the warm summer evenings to come. Apples and cheddar are a fabulous flavor combination. Add in a burst of sweetness from bites of dried cranberries and toss with a maple Balsamic vinaigrette and your salad will taste like a party in your mouth! It’s a party to celebrate the arrival of warmer weather! Hooray! Finally!
Apple Cheddar Chicken Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
6 cups romaine lettuce
2 Gala apples, cored, sliced, 3 cups
1 cup cubed cheddar cheese, 4 ounces
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
12 ounces cooked sliced chicken, 3 cups*
1/3 cup olive oil
3 Tbs. white balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs. maple syrup, preferably pure maple syrup
1 Tbs. Dijon
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1. In serving bowl combine romaine, apples, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, cranberries and red onion. Top with cooked chicken.
2. In small bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon, kosher salt and pepper until blended. Drizzle some of dressing over salad. Serve with remaining dressing.
Makes 6 servings; 12 cups.
*1 lb. raw boneless skinless chicken breasts cooks to about 12 ounces and yields about 3 cups sliced cooked chicken.