I put this salad together for the first time on a Saturday that we were running around like crazy and finally had a “parent break” in our day to have a quiet lunch and a little glass of wine. I’m always a fan of a big salad and this one combines several things I really like: blue cheese, apples and candied pecans being the big ones.
I’ve also found that I really like making salad dressings at home. Bottled dressings are often a little sweeter than I like (although I do like this brand) and, when I have time, I’ve put together homemade combinations that are a little more citrusy, or have a little more of a spice or bite to them. This is one of those random combinations and it balances the sweetness of the salad fixins very well.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon shallot, finely chopped
- 1-2 chicken breasts (depending on size and how much you want)
- Lemon pepper, salt, pepper
- Spring mix
- Candied pecans (buy them, or combine 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of butter and 1/2 cup of pecans in a saucepan and cook till sugar is melted; spread out on parchment to cool and then crunch and separate)
- Blue cheese crumbles
- Apples, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I used Honeycrisp but also I like Macintosh; use whatever you like)
- For dressing: Combine all ingredients in a small food processor or blender until emulsified. Put in refrigerator until ready to use. You may need to whisk it up to combine again, depending on how long it sits.
- For chicken: Cut chicken into cubes. Season with salt, pepper and lemon pepper. Cook in a skillet until browned and cooked completely. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
- Place spring mix into two bowls. Top with a handful of craisins, sprinkle on desired amount of pecans and blue cheese and apples. Add chicken. Drizzle entire salad with desired amount of balsamic dressing.