Friday, March 23, 2012

Raspberry Chicken Salad w/ Candied Walnuts & Brie Croutons

I love that raspberries and other berries are soon coming into season!  I was out to lunch last week and saw a salad on the menu with a blackberry vinaigrette.  And while that is still in the back of my mind as something I want to try making soon, it reminded me of this salad I ran across a while ago.  Funny how my mind works isn't it! 

Raspberry vinaigrette, grilled chicken, candied walnuts, & brie...sign me up!!!    I grilled a couple extra chicken breasts while I was making bbq chicken on the grill the night before.  All I had to do was make the dressing, toast up the candied walnuts, melt the brie over a few small slices of bread, and assemble the salad.  This salad was so fresh and yummy.  Mainly due to the combination of the sweet raspberries & the savory brie.  Perfect!

Raspberry Chicken Salad w/ Candied Walnuts & Brie Croutons
adapted from Pink Parsley
serves 3 

1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 Tbs unsalted butter

kosher salt
dried basil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/3 cups fresh raspberries, divided
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbs honey, divided
1/4 cup olive oil

2 mini cibatta rolls (can use french bread)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast

6 oz salad greens (I used a spinach)

Toast the walnuts in a nonstick skillet until golden and fragrant, stirring often (happens quickly).  Add the sugar and butter, and stir until the sugar dissolves and coats the almonds.  Transfer to a plate to cool, then break up into pieces.

Whisk together the vinegar, 1/3 cup raspberries, 1 tablespoon of the honey, mustard, salt, pepper, & basil to taste.  Using the whisk, mash the raspberries to incorporate into the other ingredients.  Drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly.  Set aside 1/2 cup for the chicken marinade, and reserve the remaining dressing for the salad.

Preheat the grill to medium-high.  Marinate the chicken in the reserved marinade for 15 minutes, turning every few minutes to evenly coat.

Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper, and grill, covered, until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side (the internal temperature should be 165 degrees). 

Slice the rolls thinly to get about 4 per roll.  You can either grill the bread or broil it, I found broiling to be easier.  To grill:  1-2 minutes, until toasted.  Flip over and divide the cheese evenly among slices.  Continue grilling, uncovered, until the cheese melts, 2-3 more minutes.  To broil:  place under broiler in oven with cheese over the top until melted.

Toss the salad greens with the reserved vinaigrette.  Top with sliced grilled chicken, raspberries and walnuts, and serve the salad with brie croutons.

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