Spring Chicken Salad
I love a good chicken salad, especially any I can find that aren’t heavy with mayonnaise-laden dressings. (Not that I have anything against good mayonnaise in the right place, either, but it really can weigh a dish down.) Back in the pre-Lily era, when I was working in West Hartford, CT, I used to frequent the Wild Oats prepared foods on an all-too-regular basis; his was before Whole Foods came to town, if you can imagine such a time. Seems positively Jurassic now.
Anyway, my favorite dish of theirs was a grilled chicken salad with a balsamic dressing. Perfect light fare, ideal for South Beach phase one, and with asparagus as a featured ingredient, ideal for a spring lunch! This is my approximation of the Wild Oats Balsamic Chicken Salad. If asparagus is starting to show up in your grocery stores or, better yet, at your farmers’ markets, try showcasing it in this easy salad! For the asparagus: everyone knows that trick where you bend the stalk to where it naturally snaps, and discard the tough, woody end, right? Well, I dimly recall learning another trick from Chopped host Ted Allen, way back before he became a Food Network star or a judge on Top Chef.