Chicken Salad with Potatoes and Asparagus; Salad Dressings

Finally we have a sunny day.

I was out working in the garden and I could almost see the plants stretching and straining towards the sun.

A salad seemed to be in order for this post – as well as a repeat of the salad dressing primer I posted a few years ago.

Summer is upon us – time to eat healthier, fresher and lighter.

Grilling the chicken breast and vegetables adds the perfect summer flavors to this salad  – and keeps it light.  

Chicken Salad with Potatoes and Asparagus

Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts  or leftover chicken
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 8oz (250gr) asparagus
  • 3oz (90gr) cherry tomatoes
  • 12 small Mozzarella balls
  • 1/3 cup sliced radishes
  • 1/3 cup green olives
  • spinach and/or other spring greens for 2 large salads
  • 1 tbs snipped basil
  • 1 tbs snipped chives
  • 1 tbs snipped parsley
  • 1 tbs olive oil for potatoes
  • Marinade for chicken:
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Vinaigrette:
  • 1 tbs ketchup
  • 1 tbs sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbs good olive oil

Salad with Chicken and Asparagus

Instructions:

  • Chicken:
  • In small bowl whisk together marinade for chicken, pour over chicken and set aside to marinate.
  • When ready, remove chicken from marinade and cook on barbecue for 14 – 18 minutes, turning once.
  • OR sauté for about the same amount of time – or until done.
  • Vegetables:
  • Cut potatoes into large bite-size pieces.
  • Trim and cut asparagus into 2″ (5cm) lengths.
  • Toss potatoes with oil and cook on barbecue grill in grill pan, stirring frequently, for about 25 minutes or until brown and done.
  • Add asparagus for the last 10 minutes of cooking time, stirring to combine with potatoes and oil in pan.
  • OR sauté in large skillet until browned and cooked through, about 20 minutes, adding the asparagus for the last 7 minutes.
  • Salad: 
  • Make vinaigrette: In small bowl whisk mustard, ketchup and vinegar.
  • Slowly add oil whisking constantly.  You may have to stop adding oil and just whisk periodically – you don’t want to see the oil separately – it should be incorporated as it goes into the mixture.
  • Prepare spinach and lettuce, tear if needed and put in a large salad bowl.
  • Cut tomatoes, olives in half and add to salad.
  • Slice radishes, snip herbs and add to salad.
  • Add mozzarella to salad.
  • Add 2 – 3 tbs vinaigrette and mix well.
  • Remove vegetables and chicken.
  • Slice chicken.

Salad dressings….

The Spanish way of dressing a salad is to drizzle a bit of oil and vinegar over the top of your own salad just before eating.  The salads are brought to the table naked.

The French way of dressing a salad is to put a dab of Dijon mustard in the bottom of a salad bowl; add a dash of vinegar, a bit of salt and whisk in some olive oil.  Put the lettuce on top and toss just before serving.

The American way of dressing a salad is to….

We won’t go there.

The British way is the American way.

We won’t go there, either.

The display of salad dressings in a typical American supermarket is mind-boggling.  Not only is there every conceivable type and variation of salad dressings and vinaigrettes known to woman, but each and every one comes in Regular, Light, and Non-Fat or ‘Free’.

‘Free’ of what?’ is always my question.

It’s certainly not Free of unpronounceable ingredients.

Have you ever looked at the ingredient list on a bottle of commercial
salad dressing?

Here is, to me, the real conundrum:

A serving of 2 tbs of a brand-name non-fat Ranch dressing has about the same amount of calories as a serving of 2 tbs of my Creamy Mustard Yogurt Dressing (recipe below).

BUT (it’s a big but) mine has all natural ingredients, heart-healthy fat from olive oil, calcium from yogurt AND you’ll use less because it isn’t such a thick glop and it packs a bigger flavor punch.

It takes about a minute to make and keeps for a week in the fridge.

Here are five of my favorite ways to dress a salad – I’m just giving the recipe ingredients; the method is always the same:
Put all wet ingredients (mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, yogurt, etc) except oil in a small bowl.  Whisk well to combine.  Slowly drizzle in the olive or other oil, whisking constantly, until it emulsifies or thickens.

If it’s a yogurt based dressing this will come together quickly.  If it’s not, you may have to stop adding the oil and just whisk for a few seconds from time to time….  you’re adding the oil too fast.
When the dressing is thick, add the chopped herbs, shallots, etc.
All of the dressings / vinaigrettes will keep for several days up to a week in the fridge.

Creamy Mustard Yogurt Dressing

1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
2 tbs whole grain mustard
1 tbs white Balsamic vinegar
1 tbs good olive oil
1 tbs fresh chives, chopped
1 tbs fresh basil, basil

Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

1 1/2 tbs honey
1 1/2 tbs course grain mustard
1 1/2 tbs  lemon juice
4 tbs good olive oil

“French” Vinaigrette

2 tbs ketchup
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon-style mustard
1/4 tsp paprika
3 tbs good olive oil

Classic Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
2 tbs Balsamic wine vinegar
5 tbs good olive oil
1 tbs fresh chives, chopped
1 tbs fresh basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed

Oriental Vinaigrette (lo cal)

2 tbs brown sugar, unpacked
2 1/2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tbs parsley – dried or fresh
1 tbs water
2 tsp oil – sesame or walnut best
2 tsp soy sauce

Always add a bit of dressing to just the lettuce and toss very well to coat.  Then add the rest of the ingredients and a bit more dressing.  That helps to control the urge to use too much dressing.

5 thoughts on “Chicken Salad with Potatoes and Asparagus; Salad Dressings”

  1. Love your salad dressing philosophy and I am also a true believer in natural. I too am amazed at all the dressings on the shelves. Who comes up with these varieties?

  2. Katie – Luv your salad and dressings! Wish I could say that summer was with us too…soooo not. Grey and cloudy all day then the sun comes out at 6:00 pm not so great for the gardens!

  3. Great salad dressing recipes and you won’t get the funny aftertaste you get with so many of the commercial ones. Natural ingredients are impossible to beat.

  4. I LOVE your dressings, the balsalmic dressing is my favorite. I never paid attention to the ingredients of the bottled dressings but I do now. I rarely buy bottled thanks to your recipes.

    Very much appreciate you sharing Katie!!

  5. Susan, and there are more and more every time I go back to visit – can’t help but look LOL

    Ina, thanks…. As to summer… comes and goes. But we are grateful for every day of sun we get.

    Gill, thanks – I totally agree LOL

    Linda, I’m so glad to find another convert to easy home-made… Thanks!

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