The other night a friend and I ventured out to a local wine bar. There we enjoyed a flight of wine and one of the tastiest salads I've had in a long time - and it was a strike of inspiration. The Purple Cafe is probably my favorite location to venture to whenever I am looking for a good wine to try out, but to be honest their food never has really overwhelmed me with pleasure. Truthfully, I chose this salad because it sounded good enough. To be fair their more expensive dishes are divine, but when you're wanting to just go out with the girls for an evening, you don't NEED to drop $30 on dinner, now on WINE, absolutely!
For the wine I enjoyed a flight entitled the "Teethstainer" it included 4 "voluptuous, rich dark berry and plum fruits combined with a generous lip-smacking finish" wines.
highway 14 . columbia valley, washington . 05
jm cellars ‘bramble bump’ . columbia valley, washington . 07
rigal malbec cahors, france . 07
fairview shiraz . south africa . 06
The first and the third were my favorites, the shiraz was it's own unique beast and the bramble bump - well I wasn't even a little bit of a fan. However, the food that accompanied it took center stage for my pallet for a while. A delicious cranberry chicken chopped salad sans lettuce. Both my friend and I ordered it (with our own tweaking, me sans almonds, her sans the onions and vinaigrette for a plain balsamic.. allergies) - and only ordered half salads. We instantaneously regretted that choice upon our first bite. It was so good, crisp, tart, savory - delicious! In fact we ordered a half salad, split with our previous alterations - we ended up each getting another half salad! Score - we scarfed it down!
That got me thinking, this would be a perfect thing to make and have for lunches around here. You see in addition to my terrible track record for dinner making, me and lunches also are not terribly awe-inspired. Often golden arches or a microwave is involved in my lunches.
So on Sunday afternoon after I had finished feeding Ace his lunch, I left him in his high chair and sat down next to him and got to chopping things. Keeping him busy with bits of apple, celery, etc.. Now since I had this dish at a restaurant I didn't have a recipe, so I winged it. Below is the recipe that I created based on the ingredients off the menu! It was a tad wetter than what I remember, so you might want to scale the dressing back ever so much.
Cranberry Chicken Salad
2 red apples
4 green onions
3 stalks of celery
3 strips of bacon
6oz of grilled chicken
3oz of dried cranberries
1/2 cup of raspberry vinaigrette
dollop of Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
dice everything and toss with the vinaigrette.
Makes 6.5 cups worth.
Enjoy for lunch, I plan to!