Asian Chicken Salad

Asian Chicken SaladFresh flowers are my new weekly shopping habit. I’ve been “splurging” on the cheapest supermarket blooms. It’s amazing what you can find under $10 a bunch. With flowers and spring veggies at home, our kitchen is feeling more lush than usual. To keep asparagus and herbs fresh, I put them in water and treat them just like the flowers.

Having all that greenery on display makes me feel like I am living on the set of a perfectly styled cooking show minus my cabinets and other things I want to re-do in our kitchen. I whipped up a poached Asian chicken salad with all my spring ingredients. Grilled asparagus and zucchini added a little smokiness to this crisp bowl of greens.

Asian Chicken Salad
Asian Chicken Salad
Adapted from It’s All Easy by Gwyneth Paltrow

Serves 4

For chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced 1/4-inch thick

For dressing
1 small shallot, minced
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon agave nectar
2 teaspoons hazelnut oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For salad
2 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
24 asparagus spears, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 head red leaf lettuce, washed and torn into pieces
1 handful fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 handful fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated

For the chicken, bring a small saucepan about half full of water to a boil. Add the chicken, garlic, salt and ginger and cook at a rolling boil for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and use a fork to shred it.

For the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the shallots, vinegar, lime juice, soy sauce, agave nectar, hazelnut oil, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Preheat a grill pan over medium high heat. Toss the zucchini and asparagus in olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill for about 2 minutes per side until the vegetables have grill marks and are cooked, but still crisp. Let cool before cutting the zucchini into a 1/4-inch dice and the asparagus into 1-inch pieces.

In a large bowl, combine the lettuce, mint, cilantro, carrots, zucchini, asparagus and chicken. Toss in the dressing.