Here is a salad that has a little bit of something for everyone! Most people dread the standard salad because they lack the imagination to think past the routine of iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, an occasional cherry tomato or two topped off with ranch dressing. However, this recipe is an easy way to breathe new life into your salads, along with a lot of new flavors. I personally LOVE this one myself. I think it has enough flavor that you really don't need to add a salad dressing to it, but if you aren't convinced. I suggest an Apple or a Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing. You can play with the ingredients in this as well. Changing out the Pecans for Walnuts or another nut of choice. I like mixed greens or spinach for this salad, but you may prefer something else. Apples are another thing that you may like to change as well. Seeing that I live so close to a few different apple orchards I have a wide variety to pick from depending on the season. So I can sweeten this salad up, or make it a little more tart. Just by changing my choice of apples. Try it, play with the ingredients and see what works for you. Let me know! I always like to try different versions of things. After all variety is the spice of life!
Medley of Flavors Salad
This salad is a great dish for the springtime, or anytime. The apple is tart in combination with the sweet of the dried cranberries. The pecans, blu cheese and bacon bits are a great topper for this salad, but can easily be substituted according to preferences. Adding grilled chicken can make a simple salad turn into a delicious main course, or leave it out for a great vegetarian dish. For extra color, you can add shredded carrots for a festive look.
- 4 c. Salad Mix (Spinach or your Salad choice)
- 3 c. Chopped Chicken
- 2 medium apples ( I usually use two different types, like Gala & Granny Smith)
- 1/2 c. Honey Roasted Pecans ( or walnuts )
- 1/4 c. Dried Cranberries (Cranrasins)
- 1/4 c. Bacon Bits
- 1/2 c. Blu Cheese
- Apple or Raspberry - Vinaigrette Dressing ( Optional )
Clean the salad mix. I take chicken breasts that I have grilled on the (Big Green Egg) the night before and chop them up. Peel the apples if you don't like the skin, or just dice into 1/2 inch pieces. Combine the chicken, apples and salad mix in a bowl, or on a platter if entertaining. Top with the honey roasted pecans, dried cranberries, bacon bits and cheese. Sprinkle with dressing ( If I am entertaining I have little cups that I fill with the dressing and put it by the guest's plate ). Serves 3-5.
If it's going to be some time before the meal is actually served, but the salad needs to be ready ahead of time, coat the apples with lemon juice before storing, so that they don't brown before being served. No one likes to eat brown apples, even if they still taste good, they just don't look attractive. Also make sure not to put the dressing on until right before serving, or else it will make all the other ingredients soggy.