July 29, 2010

mache & chicken salad w/ honey tahini dressing

I'm interested in these heartier salads lately, because I get bored of just greens. This one has such a bright flavor, and really fills you up. Plus, it has Mache!

What the heck is mache, you ask? It is a green leafy vegetable similar to spinach, only it has a slightly thicker stalk and a bit of a tart flavor. It also goes by "lamb's lettuce". In this recipe I think it stands up nicely to the bold flavor of the dressing. Delic'!

mache & chicken salad with honey tahini dressing
eating well magazine, april/may

1/2 c lemon juice
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c tahini (a thick paste of ground sesame seeds, found in supermarkets near the Middle East section or the nut butters)
2 Tbs honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 lb new or baby red potatoes (I used baby butter potatoes)
1 lb chicken tenders
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small clove of garlic
4 c mache, or baby spinache
1 c shelled English peas (about 1 1/2 lbs unshelled or thawed frozen peas
1 Tbs finely chopped shallot

prepare dressing
Combine lemon juice, oil, tahini, honey, and garlic in a bowl, whisking until smooth. Season with S&P.

prepare salad

Place a steamer basket in a large saucepan, add 1 inch of water and bring to a boil. Put potatoes in the steamer basket and steam until barely tender when pierced with a fork (15-20 min). When cool enough to handle, slice or quarter.

Meanwhile, toss chicken with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. we grilled our chicken, but the recipe calls for cooking over a skillet : Heat 1 Tbs oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to cutting board to cool, then chop into bite size pieces if desired.

Season a wooden salad bowl by rubbing with 1/2 clove garlic and a pinch of salt. Chop the garlic and add to the bowl along with the potatoes and mache (or spinach). Pour 1/2 c of dressing over potatoes and greens, gently toss to coat. Add peas, shallot, and shredded chicken; gently toss and serve.

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