This post originally appeared on the Taste and Savor blog on May 31, 2012
I have a bit of an obsession with chicken salad. It is a a dish that has many variations. Chef Nancy, Intern, Mary Rob and I were discussing the virtues of chicken salad a couple of weeks ago while making a batch of curried chicken salad for an event. We all agreed that the curried chicken salad was delicious, but each had an opinion about certain likes and dislikes. Mary Rob likes the addition of apples, Chef Nancy, grapes. I admitted my dislike for the addition of fresh fruit in my chicken salad, thus sparking a fun debate about the best ingredients for the perfect chicken salad.
So, it was with chicken salad on the brain and a continuing abundance of fresh basil from my garden, that I decided to venture way off the traditional track and come up with an recipe using some of my favorite Mediterranean ingredients instead.
Sun dried tomatoes took the place of the dried fruit, fennel instead of celery and pine nuts rather than pecans. This fun little experiment yielded a tasty and decidedly non-traditional chicken salad. I love the challenge of taken a tried and true dish and making it into something unexpected. This is a simple recipe, that with a little bit of chopping and a large mixing bowl, comes together quite easily.
Serve this cool salad on a bed of leafy greens or as a hearty sandwich on toasted whole wheat bread as shown below.
Mediterranean Chicken Salad:
3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped scallions (green parts only)
1/2 cup chopped fennel
3/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes (not in oil)
1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
1/2 cup light olive oil mayonnaise
1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons toasted Pine Nuts
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
Add all ingredients into a large bowl and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to and hour to allow flavors to meld.