Recipes: 'Raising the Salad Bar' Summertime is salad time! Try an Arugula and Avocado Salad with Shaved Parmesan, topped with a garlicky lemon dressing. Or, if you still can't warm up to your leafy greens, maybe a sprightly Chicken Salad with Fruit and Toasted Pecans is more to your liking?

Recipes: 'Raising the Salad Bar'

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Get more recommendations from T. Susan Chang.

These recipes appear in Raising the Salad Bar by Catherine Walthers, Lake Isle Press, 2007.

Arugula and Avocado Salad with Shaved Parmesan

Serves 4

This is a simple, classic combination of arugula and shaved Parmesan cheese with a lemony dressing. With such a simple salad, it's nice to use the more flavorful imported aged Parmigiano Reggiano. You can vary this salad with sliced cucumber or tomato wedges, homemade croutons, sliced endive or radicchio.

2 bunches arugula, washed and dried (about 6 cups)

1 avocado, peeled and sliced

Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, to taste

Lemon Dressing
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 medium clove garlic, finely minced

4 to 5 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and ground pepper

1. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and garlic. Slowly whisk in olive oil until the mixture is creamy. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Place arugula in a serving bowl and add dressing to taste. Mix well. Top with avocado slices, drizzle a bit more dressing over them and season with a pinch of salt. Using a vegetable peeler, shave slivers of Parmesan over the top.

Chicken Salad with Fruit and Toasted Pecans

Serves 4

3 split bone-in chicken breasts (with skin), or 3 cups cooked, diced chicken

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 crisp apple

1 firm but ripe pear

Lemon juice

1 cup seedless red grapes, halved

2 tablespoons chopped chives or parsley

1 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Orange-Poppy Seed Dressing
1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Rub split chicken breasts with a little olive oil and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until just cooked. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bone and shred by hand or dice. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.

2. Core and dice the apple and pear. Sprinkle the fruit with 1 or 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice to keep it from discoloring. In a large bowl, combine the diced chicken, apple, pear, grapes and chives.

3. To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients.

4. Just before serving, add all of the dressing to the chicken salad and toss well to combine. Adjust seasonings, adding additional salt if necessary. Top with the toasted pecans.

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