Chicken, Asparagus, Spinach Salad

Last post I had faux Thousand Island Dressing; this time it’s faux French Dressing

I have no idea what the history of French Dressing is but, trust me, no self-respecting French cook would ever put ketchup in their vinaigrette.

They don’t know what they’re missing.

French dressing has been a restaurant and supermarket staple (in the U.S.) forever. Sometimes it’s just the flavor one is looking for.

When we moved here, and I realized that I would have to make my own salad dressings, I did a lot of experimenting. As time goes on I make what we like and have no idea how close it is to the original. It’s been many years since I’ve had ‘real’ French Dressing.

This, however, I know is good.

Chicken, Asparagus, Spinach Salad

Total time: 40 minutes


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 10oz (300gr) asparagus. cut into 1 1/2 inch (4 cm) lengths
  • 4oz (120gr) cherry tomatoes, cut in half (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup Greek olives, pitted, sliced (or your favorite)
  • 3oz (90gr) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 6oz (180gr) fresh spinach
  • handful fresh basil leaves
  • Marinade for chicken
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • ‘French Dressing’
  • 3 Tbs ketchup
  • 2 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire
  • 2 tsp Dijon-style mustard
  • 4 tbs good olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil


  • 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.
  • When done, remove, let rest 5 minutes, then slice.
  • Fill large saucepan half full of water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  • When boiling, drop in asparagus and parboil for 3 minutes.
  • Drain and immediately rinse with cold water.
  • Make vinaigrette: In small bowl whisk mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire and vinegar.
  • Slowly add oil whisking constantly.
  • Whisk in dried basil
  • Prepare spinach, tear if needed and put in a large salad bowl along with fresh basil.
  • Add 3 – 4 tbs dressing and mix well.
  • Add tomatoes, asparagus, olives and feta and toss once or twice.
  • Add chicken and drizzle with 2 – 3 tbs dressing and serve, remaining dressing on the side..

Print Recipe

This is for all of you lucky people who still have asparagus. Ours was finished a few weeks ago.

I pulled the spinach last week, so spring vegetable season is officially over.

I had two rows of spinach: one planted 7 weeks ago and one planted 5 weeks ago. The idea, of course, was that we would still be enjoying fresh spinach during the first 2 weeks of June.

Last week was unseasonably warm – in the high 80’s F (30C). Spinach doesn’t like hot weather. Both rows started to bolt.

I spent several hours last weekend with the spinach. I pulled it, sorted through it to get the clean leaves (clean as in ‘no aphids’), washed it, sorted through it again, chopped it, steamed it, drained it and froze it.

I had huge baskets of leaves. I filled my sink six times to the brim with spinach leaves. I used my big steamer and blanched 10 batches of chopped leaves.

I spent at least a year working on it (or so it seemed).

I ended up with 6 small, 1 cup bags of spinach, about 7oz (200gr) each.

I have still been asking myself why I bothered…..

Oh – during the previous 3 weeks, while the first row was growing well in cool weather I made 10 quarts of spinach soup.

We still have lots of lettuce.

Now I have to go pick the chard for dinner.

Last update on June 2, 2017

5 thoughts on “Chicken, Asparagus, Spinach Salad”

    • I am sure you wondered if it was all worthwhile!! My gosh you must have planted a lot of spinach seeds. We still have asparagus but I think it will be over soon. It is very hot here. The strange thing is we have had rain or the promise of rain every day for a week. This weekend I saw the tornado clouds over the park near where we live. It was scarey. Our strawberries are really good this year . They are a decent size and very sweet. Good luck in Italy. I hope you have wonderful cheese and wine.

  1. Spinach is rather like maple syrup. When you tap a maple tree, you can get gallons and gallons of the nectar from the tree. You put it in a 15 gallon pot on a hot fire and stir it and stir it and stir it and all of a sudden, the temp hits just right and the stuff thickens and shrinks to about 2 quarts. Spinach has the same shrinking quality to it. :\

    Your salad looks delicious! And we’re just getting fresh spring Michigan asparagus here 🙂

  2. Dan – I hate it when the telltale crunch means I missed washing off a baby snail….

    Evelyn, I did. Last year I planted half as much and it was eaten by slugs and aphids, This year it all grew with no problems, Typical garden,

    nightsmusic, it just cooks down to nothing lol But I do like it. Easier just to buy bags of the frozen stuff, tho.

    kate, I grow it for salads, mainly, but the frugal part of me just can’t throw it away when I have too much.

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