Dinner on Deadline
Apple, pine nuts, dates, and goat cheese give this salad a satisfying sweet-tart crunch. The addition of cooked chicken or chickpeas makes it a main course that can be assembled without powering up any kitchen appliances.
Santa Barbara Salad
Makes 4 servings
1 medium shallot
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 head Boston lettuce
4 Medjool dates
2 cups grape tomatoes
1 medium Gala apple
1 1/2 cups cooked, skinless chicken breast (may substitute canned chickpeas)
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
1. Mince the shallot and place it in a jar with a tight-fitting lid along with the oil, vinegar, and cinnamon. Seal the jar and shake to form an emulsified vinaigrette. Refrigerate until ready to dress the salad.
2. Toast the pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat until they are lightly browned and fragrant, shaking the pan a few times to avoid scorching. Remove from the heat.
3. As you prep the following ingredients, transfer them to a large serving bowl: Rinse and dry the lettuce, then tear it into bite-size pieces. Pit, then coarsely chop the dates. Cut each tomato in half. Cut the apple into 1/2-inch pieces. Cut the chicken into strips, or drain and rinse the chickpeas. Add the toasted pine nuts.
4. Shake the vinaigrette to re-emulsify if needed. Drizzle half of it over the salad and toss gently until well coated. Top with the cheese. Divide the salad at the table; pass the remaining vinaigrette.
Per serving (using chicken and half of the vinaigrette): 290 calories, 21 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 17 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber, 11 g sugar