Happy Saturday to you! Well the cool weather is kicking in here in Northern California. They are predicting rain and possible thunderstorms, which is pretty rare. Not that I like rain on the weekend, but we need it, plus it will be nice to just stay inside. My day is planned on cooking and baking and of course the dreaded housework. Today’s recipe is something that I made for dinner last night. It’s a fabulous Fall salad, that can be made in a matter of a few minutes. It’s my Chicken and Apple Panzanella Salad.
When creating this recipe, I had an idea in mind, but when I told my Husband I was planning on adding either sweet potatoes or butternut squash to it, he said ewww! As you may know he is not a fan of either vegetable. He actually came up with the idea of adding apples to my dish in place of his dreaded vegetables. So I took his idea and made it my own. So what is in the Chicken and Apple Panzanella Salad? It is made with Honey Crisp Apples, Cranberry Walnut Bread, rotisserie chicken and creamy goat cheese. I topped the salad with pomegranate arils and a simple balsamic maple dressing. The salad was amazing and very filling. Trust me a little bit goes a long way.
The salad has a nice crispiness from the cranberry walnut bread that I bought from Trader Joe’s. Plus the cranberries in the bread gave it a little chewiness. The apples made it a sweet crunch and the goat cheese made it ultra creamy, which I just love. It’s kind of healthy substitute for mayonnaise. The chicken was a cheat, and I used a rotisserie chicken that I picked up from the grocery store on my way home from work. The flavors of the salad all combined together just screamed Fall. I was actually impressed on how well it went together. Even the picky Husband loved it! That actually shocked me.
For the dressing that was also a cheat. These days I have been looking for short-cuts while cooking. I mixed together Trader Joe’s fat-free balsamic with a little bit of maple syrup. I tasted it together and thought it tasted ok, but when mixed in with the salad, oh my gosh it blew my mind. It is pure sweet and savory. This salad to me has everything that I crave and I think it would be a sure hit at your next holiday party. Plus it can be made in advance, which is perfect.
- Serves: 6 cups
- Serving size: 1 cup
- 4 cups cranberry walnut bread, cut into cubes (250 grams)
- ½ tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Honey Crisp apple, cored, diced
- ¼ cup pomegranate arils
- 8 oz. chicken, cooked, diced or shredded
- 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- 2 tbsp. balsamic dressing (I used Trader Joe's fat free balsamic)
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a large bowl add cranberry walnut bread and toss with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 3 minutes, flip and cook for 2 minutes more. Be sure to watch it, because it seems to burn a little bit quicker than normal croutons.
- In the bowl that you tossed the bread in, add apple, pomegranate arils, and chicken. Once bread is cooked at the bread, and goat cheese. Mix until combined.
- In a small bowl, mix together balsamic dressing and maple syrup. Mix until well combined. Pour dressing over the salad and mix until everything has been covered in dressing.
- You can serve right away or refrigerate until ready to serve.
I just love this salad. It kind of looks like Christmas doesn’t it? It actually reminds me a chicken salad sandwich deconstructed into a salad. I do have to say again, the flavors of this salad really go together wonderfully. It exceeded my expectations and also my Husbands.
I do want to tell you that all of the ingredients, including the cooked chicken can be bought at Trader Joe’s. I think they have the best prices on cheese and produce.
Have a wonderful Saturday. Stay tuned for a brand new recipe tomorrow that I had on my foodie bucket list.