Spring has sprung on our side of the globe, it is my favourite season. It just freshens, brightens and wakes up my senses. Sunny, breezy, cool, foggy days in San Francisco. And a plethora of flora in bloom in every possible colour, hue, size and sweet fragrances, it’s truly a feast for one’s eyes and senses. Well, spring has sprung in my home kitchen too. My culinary senses have me focussing on making dishes incorporating fresh produce and seasonal vegetables which certainly have the flavours of spring and are sure to please one’s palate too.
Today, being an unusually warm day this time of year, it’s time to cool off with a chilled, creamy and refreshing salad with crisp veggies and chicken. The idea of concocting and whipping up this salad for dinner tonight, ‘sprung’ in my head, whilst staring at a few poached chicken legs sitting pretty in the fridge. My 8-year old daughter had a rough week, being down with a bad bout of seasonal flu 😦 – yes, spring has its own unpleasant surprises in the form of nasty germs floating in the air! Nothing better to cure a bothersome cold and congested chest, than good ‘ol homemade chicken broth. With the broth greedily gulped down by all of us and sitting pretty in our tummies, I was left with its remnants, namely, poached or boiled chicken legs. I decided to shred the meat and mix it with some raw fresh veggies, nuts and a creamy dressing. I love a creamy chicken salad, with the crunch of onions, fresh peppers and wholesome nuts. It can also be slathered onto fresh bread and eaten as a sandwich. Or dig in a crisp tortilla chip and dig out a dollop of it, aiming straight for your mouth to satisfy your cravings for a tasty appetizer. Simple and filling, refreshing and delicious!
Ingredients for the salad:
Boiled and shredded chicken – 3 cups
Finely chopped celery – 1 cup
Finely diced green onions, the onion and the green part – 1/1/2 cups
Green bell pepper, finely sliced – 1/2 cup
A mix of coloured peppers, red, orange and/or yellow, finely sliced – 1 cup
Chopped walnuts – 1/2 cup
Pine nuts – 1/4 cup
Fresh chopped parsley – 1/4 cup
Ingredients for the creamy dressing :
Thick yoghurt – 1 cup. I usually keep it in a muslin or cheesecloth, for an hour, to drain any excess water out.
Mayonnaise – 2 heaped tbsp.
Dijon mustard – 1 tbsp.
Celery seeds – 1 tsp.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice – 2 tbsp.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a big salad bowl, add all the ingredients for the salad, except the nuts. Toss well. Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a separate small bowl. Before serving, incorporate the dressing in the salad and mix well. Garnish with the chopped walnuts, pine nuts and chopped parsley.