In the Heat of Summer: 2 Kinds of Chicken Salad

Not Far From the Treesummary: chicken salad – one with cherries, one with croutons; eating seasonally; information about Not Far From the Tree; (click on image(s) to see more photos and larger views)

cherries wp-image-2158 Bright reds – scarlet, pillar-box red, crimson or cherry – are very cheerful and youthful. There is certainly a red for everyone.
 
– Christian Dior

Ah mid-summer! It didn’t go below 20C last night and once again today it’s sunny and the high will be in the mid 30s.

Naturally, we’re using the barbecue for just about everything that needs cooking. On the weekend, we had a beautiful butterflied chicken (Djaj Bil-Bahar Il-Asfar, of course!) and grilled vegetables.

Cherry Chicken Salad wp-image-2212 Which means the next night, we get to have chicken salad for dinner. Normally, we add toasted almonds and grapes to this salad. But a couple of weeks ago, we still had some of the beautiful sweet red NFFtT cherries left.

So rather than grapes, we added cherries. Because grapes aren’t in season yet….

And since we didn’t have quite enough almonds on hand, we substituted with some roasted cashews.

Now we’re always going to add cashews to this salad, whether it’s made with grapes or cherries. The cashews are great in the salad.

Cherry Chicken Salad wp-image-2212 The other day, as it started to be almost impossibly hot, we decided it would be another chicken salad day. But this time, we decided to make a regular salad with Romaine lettuce and to lay pieces of chicken on top. We’d serve it with fougasse….

The stunningly beautiful thin French-style green beans from the farmers’ market beckoned to us as we were putting the salad together. So we steeled ourselves and turned the stove on to quickly blanch the beans. We tossed them in with thinly sliced yellow zucchini (also from the farmers’ market) then garnished with tarragon, summer savory and nasturtiums from the garden. These brilliant red flowers are called “Empress of India” and they are sweet with a brief flash of heat. The croutons (homemade, of course) were made from not quite stale bread – bread made with malted wheat. The malt makes the croutons crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. They’re the best croutons we’ve ever had!

Wow. This salad was brilliant! No wonder salad with chicken is a standard luncheon plate in fancy restaurants!

salad with grilled chicken wp-image-2209 Because it’s too hot these days to turn the oven on, we make fougasse on the pizza stone in the gas barbecue.
 
Ever since the BBBabes made malted wheat bread, I cannot stop using malted grains when I mix the dough. The other day, I added crushed malted rye to the fougasse. It was so brilliant that I’m doing the same thing again today.
 
Yes, indeed. J’adore malted grains!

Not Far From the Tree Not Far From the Tree
 
“Not Far From the Tree” is a Toronto organization that includes a residential fruit-picking program to pick fruit (with permission, of course) that would otherwise go to waste.
 
There are zillions of fruit trees in Toronto!! Bearing fruit that is eaten by birds, squirrels and raccoons. If you have such a tree and would like the animals to share the fruit with people, please do contact “Not Far From the Tree”. They will send a team of pickers to clean up your yard of fallen fruit and pick the good fruit that is still in the tree. The harvested fruit is divided evenly into 3 portions: one third going to the tree owners, one third going to the volunteer pickers and the final third going to food banks, shelters, and community kitchens.
 
For more information about NFFtT and how you can donate your time and/or share your fruit, please go to

 

If every U.S. citizen ate just one meal a week (any meal) composed of locally and organically raised meats and produce, we would reduce our country’s oil consumption by over 1.1 million barrels of oil every week. That’s not gallons, but barrels.
 
-Steven L. Hopp, “Animal Vegetable Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver, p. 5

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