I was slightly hesitant to mix roasted broccoli and roasted grapes, but since I have had pretty good luck with roasting them separately, I figured combining the two couldn’t be too bad. The roasted grapes gave the salad a caramelized sweetness, but it was subtle. I normally would not like anything sweet in a salad like this, but the tangy, creamy dressing kept it in check. They dressing really brought out the best in the other flavors in the salad.
1/2 cup mayonnaise or greek yogurt or combination of the two
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
8 slices bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup chopped, smoked almonds
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spread broccoli and grapes in a single layer on a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss to coat. Roast, 20 to 25 minutes or until broccoli is starting to brown and grapes are soft, stirring once halfway through roasting time. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with red onion. Cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and mustard. Place broccoli mixture in a serving bowl. Toss with the dressing and top with bacon and smoked almonds.
The other day I got a craving for chicken salad, which is rather strange considering I have never had it before. The reason I’ve never had it before is that it normally has celery in it. Celery makes me want to cry. I hate it. With a passion. I could probably write you a short novel on my hatred of celery, but I will refrain. The abridged version can be summed up like this: I think celery is pure evil and disgusting and I hate it and it is so gross and will act like a 3-year-old and refuse to eat anything with it in it, on it, or touching it. Ewwwww. Since I am making this chicken salad there will be no celery. Anywhere. Ever.
Once I was able to get the thought of celery out of my mind, I was able to really get into this chicken salad. I am fairly certain using greek yogurt made it a lot better than using all mayonnaise. mayonnaise has a time and a place, but I really enjoyed the tanginess the yogurt had. I did include a bit a mayo to give it a little bit of extra creaminess. The one thing I forgot is that greek yogurt is a lot thicker than mayo. I probably should have added in more lemon juice to thin it out a bit more. Other that that everything was perfect. I really liked the sweetness and texture the grapes and cherries added. The cherries were a last second impulsive add-in. They were just sitting right in front of me when opened the cupboard. They seemed like a good idea at the time and they were. I really liked this as a salad with lettuce. They extra creamy yogurt meant I didn’t need any extra dressing. It made a refreshing and filling lunch. I will say the thing I think that made this salad was the chicken. I used the leftover baked chicken I shared last week. I know I went on and on about how great the fresh herbs were on that chicken. The fresh herbs really, really made this salad taste amazing.
The Best Chicken Salad
2 cups diced chicken
1/3 to 1/2 cup greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup seedless green grapes, sliced
3 green onions, with some green, thinly sliced
1/2 cup walnut pieces, chopped
1/4 cup dried cherries
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Combine the diced chicken with 1/3 cup yogurt, sour cream, sliced grapes, sliced green onions, walnuts, cherries, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and lemon juice. Stir in the lemon juice. Serve the chicken salad mixture on salad greens and garnish with sliced avocado.
I think that this is the perfect fast and easy fall meal. It comes together quickly, so you can definitely it after a busy day with very little effort. I was a bit wary of the grapes combined with everything else, but they worked very well with the dish and gave a nice sweetness that was balanced out by the onions and balsamic vinegar. I served mine with bur make nt extra crispy, roasted brussels sprouts and roasted sweet potatoes. I think goat cheese polenta or mashed sweet potatoes would also be a great accompaniment to the main dish. Any type of sausage can be used, I just happen to prefer chicken. I definitely recommend using pre-cooked sausages to cut down on cooking time. I used chicken sausages and I feel like most of the brands I buy, the chicken sausages are usually pre-cooked.
Sautéed Sausages with Grapes and Balsamic Glazed Onions From Fine Cooking
3 Tablespoons olive oil
8 links cooked sweet Italian chicken sausage (about 1-3/4 lb.), pricked with a fork
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
20 seedless red grapes, halved
Heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil in a large (12-inch) sauté pan over medium heat until it’s shimmering. Add the sausages and cook, turning every couple minutes, until they’re browned all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a large plate.
Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons oil and the onion to the pot, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens completely and starts to turn light brown, about 7 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and chicken broth, and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to incorporate any browned bits.
Reduce to a gentle simmer (medium-low or low depending on your stovetop). Add the sausages and grapes, cover the pot with the lid ajar, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausages are heated through. Serve immediately.
This is another great hot weather meal. You can grill the chicken outside or skip the cooking all together and use rotisserie chicken from the store. The salad has a lot of flavor and is a nice blend of sweet and tangy. It’s also very light, which is perfect for a hot night
Chicken Salad With Grapes and Blue Cheese
Adapted from Real Simple
2 small heads Boston or Bibb lettuce, torn into pieces
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 cup (about 1/4 pound) green grapes, halved
3 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and pepper
2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced or rotisserie chicken, thinly sliced
In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, onion, grapes, and blue cheese.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Divide the salad and chicken among plates. Serve with the vinaigrette.