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Chicken Salad with Peas, Feta, and Mint

Peas, feta and mint are such a wonderful combination. Their colors, textures and tastes play off each other beautifully, and when combined with the leftover roasted chicken from the night before, you have a salad that’s easy, cool and refreshing for a warm night or for a slow weekend lunch. With crusty baguette or whole-grain crackers, it’s a salad you can happily linger over, savoring the company you’re with and the flavors on your fork.

Chicken Salad with Peas, Feta and Mint

(Easily serves 4 as a main course.)

  • 3 Tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup shelled fresh or frozen peas (no need to thaw)
  • 3 small spring onions or scallions, white part only, cut into thin rounds or diagonals
  • 4 ounces Greek feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, cut into a chiffonade (very thin crosswise strips)
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 8 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large ripe avocado, thinly sliced
  • 2 heads baby romaine, coarsely shredded, or small baby romaine leaves, left whole
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh chives
  • Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing (see below)
  • Fine sea salt

Fill a large bowl of ice-water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add coarse salt and the peas and blanch until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes (but even less if using baby peas.) (Did you know that adding salt to vegetable cooking water helps preserve their color?) Quickly pour the peas into a colander and submerge the colander into the bowl of ice-water. Drain thoroughly. (If using the peas right away, you can lay them out on a clean dish towel to absorb the water as you prepare the rest of the salad. Otherwise you can refrigerate them.)

In a large, shallow bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the dressing and salt. Toss the salad with just enough dressing to lightly coat, and taste for seasoning. Put any remaining dressing in a small bowl on the table.

Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing

  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup light cream (or half-and-half) (see NOTE for substitution)
  • 1/3 cup finely minced fresh chives
  • Lemon zest

Combine the lemon juice and salt in a jar, cover and shake until salt is dissolved. Add all remaining ingredients and shake to blend. Taste for seasoning. (This will likely make more dressing than you’ll use at one time – the rest can be refrigerated for several days, though the chives will lose their color over time.)

NOTE: Low-fat (or whole-milk) plain yogurt works well as a replacement for the cream too. If the dressing seems a bit too thick, add a little milk or half and half to thin it.

The Chicken Salad recipe is slightly adapted from one in Patricia Wells’ Salad as a Meal – Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Don #

    With the “lettuce Table” in full production, we’re anxious to try your refreshing Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing!

    June 25, 2011
  2. Ashley #

    This looks so good. I have never had this combination before. Can’t wait to try it! And, as always, what a lovely photo.

    June 25, 2011
  3. So THAT’S where the lovely roasted chicken leftovers ended up. What a beautiful summer salad. With that roast chicken, you could practically parcel out a week’s worth of meal offerings. I can’t wait to try this. I will definitely use the cream!

    June 26, 2011
  4. Darlyn #

    I really want my daughter to market you. This site is Fantastic!

    June 28, 2011
    • Darlyn, thank you so much for your kind comments & enthusiastic support! : )

      July 1, 2011

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