By Gretchen McKay

What’s for Dinner: Friday Night Salad with Honey and Lime Dressing

Categories : Food

Weeknight Leftover Salad with Honey and Lime Dressing

PG tested

Coming off a lazy week at the beach, I sure don’t feel like cooking. But thanks to that nifty culinary shortcut known as the rotisserie chicken, my family will still get fed, and nicely. For this quick and crunchy salad, I shredded the bird’s breast meat and added grilled squash and sweet red pepper from my brother’s garden. Local “Summer Wild Flowers” raw honey from Slippery Rock’s AlwaysSummerHerbs (you can find it at Whole Foods and Pittsburgh Public Market) sweetened the deal.

For dressing:

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup honey, more if desired
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, or to taste (from about 3 limes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

For salad:

  • 1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey, cold or reheated
  • 2 cups cut Napa or other cabbage, or other leafy greens, thinly sliced or chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups chopped leftover vegetables, cut into bite-sized pieces, cold or reheated
  • 1 cup shredded or thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 apple, cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (green parts only)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Blue cheese or gorgonzola crumbles, to taste
  • Freshly chopped cilantro, optional, to taste
  • A few handfuls of roasted cashews or dry-roasted almonds, optional

To make dressing: Place a skillet over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and toast just until they begin to take on some color and become fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Roughly grind seeds using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, or in a mixing bowl using the bottom of a measuring cup.

In a mixing bowl, whisk in oil, honey and lime juice with cumin seeds until all ingredients are emulsified. Whisk in salt and pepper, then taste and adjust seasoning and flavoring, if desired. Makes 3/4 cup of dressing; cover and keep refrigerated for up to a week.

To make salad: In a large mixing bowl, toss together chicken, cabbage, vegetables, carrots, apple and green onions. Pour about half the dressing over the salad and toss to lightly coat. Taste and add additional dressing if desired, and season to salt and pepper. Toss in the blue cheese crumbles, as well as cilantro and nuts, if using. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 generous servings.

— Adapted from Los Angeles Times’ “Daily Dish” blog