Party Chicken Pasta Salad
(brought to us by the Health Living Market, Mora MN)
½# pasta or approx 2 cups, uncooked (i.e., farfalle, penne, bowtie, etc.)
3 c. cooked or grilled chicken breasts, cut into ½” chunks
¼ c. purple onion, finely chopped
1-2 stalks celery, finely chopped (approx 1 cup)
1 ½ cups red grapes, halved lengthwise
1 ½ cups green grapes, halved lengthwise
8 oz cheddar cheese chunks, mild or sharp, raw milk (approx 1/2’’ square)
½ red sweet bell pepper, finely diced (approx 1/3 – 1/2 c.)
¾ c. coarsely chopped toasted pecans or toasted sliced almonds – see below
(reserve 2 Tbsp. for garnish)
1 tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
Melt 2 tsp butter in heavy pan. Add nuts, sprinkle with APS (All Purpose Seasoning), stir until coated and toasted – about 3-5 minutes.
Dressing: See below
Romaine or Green Leafy Lettuce
1 ½ T. white wine vinegar (or freshly squeezed lemon juice)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced (approx 1 ½ tsp) – or ½ tsp garlic powder
½ c. Extra Virgin cold-pressed olive oil
¾ c. sour cream
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
Directions: Cook pasta al dente as per package directions. While pasta is cooking, prepare dressing and other ingredients, as directed. At end of cooking time, drain pasta.
To make dressing: Whisk ingredients together till well-blended and creamy. Set aside.
Turn pasta into large bowl and pour dressing over the pasta. Stir gently to coat. Add chicken, onion, celery, red and green grapes and bell pepper. Toss lightly till mixed. Add toasted nuts just before serving.
TO SERVE: Wash Romaine leaves in cold water and spin or pat dry. Arrange leaves on large platter and spoon pasta salad on top, mounding slightly in the center. Garnish with red pepper strips or additional grapes and remaining pecans or almonds. Makes a beautiful presentation for parties, potlucks & summer gatherings.
Visit Healthy Living Market every Thursday or Friday in Mora, MN