I love those summer salads that are so full of flavor but with minimal fuss.
This raspberry chicken salad is among my very favorites. The ingredients together are light and fresh. But the chicken and French green beans really make it feel like a meal. Plump roasted chicken, steamed haricots verts, tart and sweet raspberries are combined with a light, raspberry balsamic vinaigrette and sprinkled with bright orange zest, fresh tarragon and chives and crunchy toasted pecans. I make this salad at least once every summer. It’s just that good!
This is one of those salads that is as perfect for your rustic backyard bbq as it is for an elegant picnic.
Place the chicken and green beans in your work bowl. Add the herbs and the zest and then the raspberry vinaigrette and toss. Then add in the raspberries and gently toss again. I could eat it right out of the bowl! But it’s nice to top a plate of greens. Here I used Boston lettuce. But feel free to use your favorite lettuce.
The dressing I used for this salad is a really light and subtly sweet raspberry vinaigrette. I found some raspberry vinegar at Wegmans which was perfect for this salad. If you can’t find raspberry vinegar, you can use regular balsamic. And I also added some fresh tarragon and chives into the mix.
If you really want to kick up the raspberry flavors you can also use my Fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette. No sour cream or mayo in this dressing. It’s made creamy by simply pureeing the raspberries.
With either dressing, you don’t have to worry about a dairy dressing spoiling as it sits on your table. But I guarantee that this salad won’t sit for long!
I just love every component of this salad on their own. But they are truly harmonious together!
I hope you’ll try this fresh, fruity summer salad. And that you’ll use it as a starting point for similar salads. Strawberries, blackberries, even blueberries would be good. Can’t find haricots verts? Use fresh green beans or yellow beans. And other proteins like pork or shrimp would be great here, too!
- 4 cooked chicken breasts ( I used bone in , skin on chicken, roasted in the oven. But you can use boneless chicken breasts, poached, or about 4 cups of cooked rotisserie chicken).
- 12 ounces of haricot verts, steamed or blanched
- 1 cup of fresh raspberries
- 4 teaspoons of chopped, fresh tarragon, divided
- 4 teaspoons of fresh snipped chives, divided
- the grated zest of 1 medium orange
- ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup of raspberry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- ½ cup of olive oil
- 2 heads of Boston lettuce
- ¼ cup of toasted pecans
- Place the pecans in a small nonstick frying pan and heat on medium high for a minute or two until toasted and fragrant.
- Pour the pecans into a bowl and set aside to cool
- Chop the cooked chicken into chunks.
- Blanch the haricots verts in boiling water for a minute and then transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain and pat dry.
- Toss the chicken and green beans together in a large bowl. Add 3 teaspoons each of the tarragon and chives.
- Add the orange zest and cracked pepper.
- Toss gently.
- In another bowl, whisk together the vinegar and mustard.
- Add the remaining 1 teaspoon each of tarragon and chives
- Gradually whisk in the oil.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour ¾ of a cup of the vinaigrette over the chicken and beans and toss to coat.
- Add half of the raspberries and toss again, very gently to combine.
- Arrange the lettuce on a serving platter.
- Mound the salad on top of the lettuce.
- Sprinkle with toasted pecans and garnish with remaining raspberries and another sprinkle of fresh herbs if desired.
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