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Chicken-Mesclun Salad with Hazelnut Dressing


Serves four.

You can use leftover roasted chicken pulled off the bone in place of the sautéed breasts. For variety, try crumbled Gorgonzola in place of the aged Gouda, replace the portabellas with chanterelles, or substitute spinach for the mesclun.

For the dressing:
  • 2 Tbs. red-wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. hazelnut oil (or just use more olive oil)
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the salad
  • 1/2 lb. mesclun mix
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 oz. each)
  • 2 large portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (1-3/4 oz.) grated aged Gouda
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts
Make the dressing:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, garlic, shallot, and mustard. Slowly whisk in the oils until emulsified. Add the herbs, season with salt and pepper, and mix well. Set aside.

Make the salad:

Put the mesclun in a large mixing bowl; set aside. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 Tbs. of the olive oil over high until very hot. Add the chicken and sear well, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue cooking until the chicken is done, 5 to 8 minutes, depending on thickness. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, let rest 5 minutes, and slice thinly on the bias. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil to the sauté pan, turn the heat to medium high, and add the mushrooms and red onion. Sauté until tender, about 4 min. Reduce the heat to low, pour in the dressing, and just heat through. Pour the mushroom and onion mixture and about threequarters of the liquid from the pan onto the greens and toss well to gently wilt them. Distribute the salad among four serving plates. Top with the sliced chicken, cheese, and hazelnuts. Drizzle the remainder of the dressing over the chicken and serve immediately.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 590, Fat (kcal): 50, Fat Calories (g): 450, Saturated Fat (g): 8, Protein (g): 30, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 35, Carbohydrates (mg): 8, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 5, Sodium (g): 500, Cholesterol (g): 75, Fiber (g): 3,

Photo: France Ruffenach

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