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RECIPESSalad RecipesChicken Salads 2 'D' to 'Z' >  Pesto Chicken Salad


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Not your ordinary chicken salad, this flavorful version gets some snap from a pesto vinaigrette. It's a wonderful summer meal (or great in the winter if you're longing for summer).
Serves 6+.

Pesto Vinaigrette
• 1 cup prepared pesto
• 3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
• 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• Sea salt to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper to taste

• 7 cups cubed, cooked chicken
• 1 cup Pesto Vinaigrette
• 1/4 cup pine nuts or walnut pieces, toasted
• 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 large bunch of fresh greens (my favorites are arugula or spinach), washed, stemmed, and torn into bite-size pieces
• 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
• Freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the Pesto Vinaigrette:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the pesto, vinegar, and lemon juice. Add the oil, slowly whisking constantly until well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 1 1/2 cups, and any leftovers may be covered and refrigerated for 1 week.

For the Salad:
In a large serving bowl, gently toss together the chicken, vinaigrette, nuts, and cheese.

Place greens on a serving platter. Top greens with chicken mixture and sprinkle sliced basil evenly atop chicken. Add a little freshly ground pepper and serve.

Chef's Notes
• How to Do It -
For moist, flavorful chicken I like to poach mine in a large saute pan with just a little simmering water. Cover and cook the chicken just until the chicken is no longer pink when you cut into it and the juices run clear. Begin checking at 20 minutes and remove chicken from heat as soon as it's cooked in order to prevent it from overcooking and becoming tough.
• In Season - If your herb garden is overflowing with basil, by all means make your own pesto for this vinaigrette. Traditionally, pesto contains lots of fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil.



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