TARRAGON CHICKEN SALAD
Makes 8 servings.
7 ounces Napa cabbage
1 red Anjou pear
1 yellow Anjou pear
2 cups seedless grapes
1 cup fresh tarragon
3 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed
1/2 cup dried dates, chopped
1/2 cup cooked crisp diagonally snipped hickory-smoked bacon
1-1/2 cups roasted pecans (see cook’s note)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons sweet Vidalia onion, chopped
4 tablespoons fresh tarragon
4 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup Greek-style plain yogurt
1/2 cup fresh heavy cream
1 cup olive-oil-based mayonnaise
To prepare produce: Wash and thoroughly dry cabbage. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Wash and dry pears and grapes. Slice pears and cut into small pieces. Cut grapes in halves. Rinse tarragon, pat dry. Remove leaves from stems. Chop fine. Reserve sprigs for garnish.
To prepare dressing: In blender, combine lemon juice, onion, tarragon, honey, sea salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Pour into 2-quart glass bowl. Whisk in yogurt, cream and mayonnaise until well combined. Keep cool until ready to assemble salad.
To assemble: In large 3-quart mixing bowl, combine pears, grapes, tarragon, chicken, dates and bacon. Fold in half of dressing. Combine well. Put remaining dressing in serving pitcher with spoon for cabbage. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve: Just before serving, add pecans. On each plate, create nest of cabbage. Scoop 1/2 cup salad onto each nest. Garnish with tarragon. Serve with reserved dressing.
Cooks’s note: To roast pecans, preheat oven to 275 degrees. Toss nuts with 3/4 teaspoon olive oil and 1/8teaspoon sea salt. Spread on shallow baking pan. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes or until nuts are fragrant and lightly browned.