Warm Soughdough Chicken Salad

I love this recipe. TJ loves this recipe  and that says a lot since men don’t typically think a salad is sufficient enough for a main course. There’s something comforting about the combination of flavors. First you have warm, crusty sourdough browned to perfection. And then there’s the smooth flavor of roasted lemons that help coat the peppery arugula that makes this salad such a great meal that is just as good for a crowd as it is for a dinner for two.

I’ve tweaked and adapted the recipe from Sara Foster, who was featured in a Cooking Light article a couple years back to suit our tastes, so look out for my notes in italics!

Ingredients

For the vinaigrette (I double this part of the recipe because who doesn’t like warm salad dressing soaking into the crevices of a piece of  browned sourdough?!):
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, skin on (I throw in many more, but we are garlic lovers)
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
  • 4 cups 1-inch chunks of crusty, rustic-style sourdough bread
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (to go vegetarian, we LOVE using garbanzo beans)
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups loosely packed arugula, watercress leaves, or mixed baby greens, washed and drained (I always stick to the arugula)
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)

Directions:

Start the vinaigrette

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C). Place the lemon, cut side down, and the whole garlic cloves in an ovenproof dish and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Roast the lemon and garlic until they’re soft and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven (but keep the oven on) and set aside until they’re cool enough to handle.

Make the salad

1. Increase the oven temperature to 475°F (245°C).

2. Toss the bread chunks with the olive oil on a baking sheet and season with salt. Scatter the chunks in a single layer and toast until the bread is golden brown and the edges are crispy, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

3. Juice the lemon into a small bowl. Peel the garlic cloves, add to the bowl with the lemon juice, and smash them with a fork. Add the vinegar and gradually whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir in the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Add the chicken, raisins, pine nuts, and garlic to the bread and combine. Drizzle with half of the vinaigrette, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss gently to combine.

5. Spread the salad on a rimmed baking sheet and place it in the oven for about 5 minutes, just to warm it slightly.

6. Remove the salad from the oven and return it to the bowl you tossed it in. Add the arugula and scallions, and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette. Toss gently to combine, season with additional salt and pepper if desired, and serve warm.

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2 thoughts on “Warm Soughdough Chicken Salad

  1. Pingback: Vegan Pesto

  2. Pingback: New Nostalgia – Vegan Pesto

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