All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

california chicken salad with cranberries and lemon-poppyseed dressing

I found this beautiful nest on a walk after a very windy day, amazed as ever by "bird architecture". Spring has us all walking around with a goofy smile, discovering buds and leaves and greenery anew every day.
And we know what Spring means - salad! This recipe started with a salad bought from an instore cafe counter at, of all places, Target. I came right home and fiddled with this and that until I had a fair imitation, which I then made over and over - it's addictive and tasty, and it hits all the taste buds in a scrumptious way: smooth, rough, crunchy, tangy. The store bought salad had the most unctuous dressing, and I'm happy to say my version is much more acceptable. I also used cherry-infused dried cranberries, after finding a lone packet of dried cherries - for $8!
You can arrange slices of chicken on a platter rather than tossing everything together if you prefer.
To make :
romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces
arugula or mesclun
dried cherries or dried cherry-infused cranberries
chopped walnuts, toasted
sliced or large dice poached or roasted chicken
fresh goat cheese
For the lemon-poppyseed dressing:
2 T. olive oil
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 t. sugar
1 T. buttermilk
salt and pepper
1/2-1 t. poppyseeds
Place the lettuces and chicken in a bowl and toss. Add a handful of cherries or cranberries, and a handful of the chopped walnuts, then add the dressing. Toss gently and top with pieces of goat cheese.
You might also enjoy the wildly popular Tuscan Bean salad -
What I'm reading: The problem with reading Elizabeth George's mysteries? Staying up til 1 in the morning to finish the 718 pages:)
Featured on TasteSpotting!


The Gourmet On A Diet said...

I want to eat this right nowwwww!!!

La Table De Nana said...

I will like this..And how sweet are bird's nests?I found one in our Christmas tree one year:)

katrina said...

Gourmet: delighted you enjoyed! It's 7am and I'm craving this salad again - guess a detour to the store is in order!

katrina said...

Good morning, Nana! Isn't it the prettiest salad?
How enchanting you found a nest in your Christmas tree! I can imagine a whole tree decorated "au naturel" would be lovely. Might try that next year....

Cara said...

Such a beautiful salad! I love poppyseed dressing, it reminds of a certain place I used to go to in my college town all the time, but I never think to make it at home. I probably should!

katrina said...

Thanks, Cara! And oooooo, love your pancakes ( all of them!) and can't wait to try them. The lemon poppyseed dressing was a very new idea for me, since I usually just do a red wine vinegar, oil, and garlic.

Barb said...

Wow! What a find at Target! Even if you tweaked the basic salad into something of your own, what a great idea. I don't think the Target by me has anything quite that delicious - guess I'll have to at least look and see what they do have.

I think I'll give your recipe a try though - the lemon-poppyseed dressing sounds especially good!

katrina said...

Hi Barb!
I was starving and saw the cafe counter. Just as I was about to buy some carb ridden something, I looked up at the menu on the wall and saw "California Salad". OK, so I had to ask where it was, but one look in the cooler in the corner looked good. Now mind, when you buy a salad in a place like that, it is not likely to be fresh and made on premises, but it was a wonderful starting point for a lovely , easy, and healthy salad.

From the Kitchen said...

Delicious! I just found your blog and am enjoying reading all of your posts. I, too, am a big supporter of organic farms. We belong to a farm co-op that has two organic farmers contributing. Since we live in the midwest, we haven't started getting that wonderful fruit and vegetables quite yet but can't wait.

Drop over and see me when you get a chance.


Chef Fresco said...

Looks so healthy and tasty! Thanks for the dressing recipe, we need to try to make our own dressings more often!I love the pic of your bird's nest :)

katrina said...

Yikes, Bonnie! I forgot to come back to thank you for swinging by - and I promise to visit your blog as soon as I have more than 15 minutes on the computer!

katrina said...

Thanks, Chefs! I make my own salad dressing in part because who needs five bottles of mediocre dressing sitting in the fridge?

Anonymous said...

I had the same salad at Target and have been looking to recreate it myself. Target actually sells the poppy seed dressing but i am so happy to have found your recipe. I cant wait to try it.

katrina said...

Hi Anon - didn't you think their dressing was icky? But the salad was a wonderful inspiration - glad you enjoyed -and thanks!