Monday, April 22, 2013

Spring Pea & Basil Salad with Chicken and Fingerlings

Much to my shagrin, spring is in the air. While I love the vegetables spring brings, this can only mean one thing: summer is coming! Boohiss. It's not quite there yet so I will count my numbered days with bright, fresh produce in every meal.
A new type of vegan meat has come around these days that is now being sold in Whole Foods called Beyond Meat. It is by far the closest thing to real chicken you will ever taste. Granted, I don't remember what real chicken tastes like at all BUT when I tried this for the first time, my brow furrowed and I scowled. I was pretty much convinced I was being duped and someone was getting me to eat chicken. I chewed it with so much suspicion that my eyes hurt from squinting. Now, knowing full well that this is in fact, vegan I will certainly be replacing it with the old (old/new) Gardien standby.

One Year Ago Today Barbecue Ribs with Cold Farfalle Salad

Two Years Ago Today Tempeh in Rosemary Balsamic Redux with Asparagus & Polenta

Fresh green peas, crisp cucumber, vegan chicken and creamy fingerling potatoes drenched in basil, cilantro, lemon and garlic for a new springtime salad great warm or at room temperature.

Spring Pea Salad
serves 3
1 cup(6 or so )fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
2 cups fresh or frozen peas
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
12 oz vegan chicken strips (such as Beyond Meat)
salt and pepper
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
3 tbl minced scallions, green parts only
1 tbl fresh lemon zest

Combine the potatoes in a pot of cold, salted water and bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes or until fork tender. Add the peas and remove from the heat. Let sit for 5 minutes to warm the peas through then drain.
While the potatoes are cooking, saute the chicken strips in olive oil until lightly browned and crisp on the edges. Season with salt and pepper.
Toss together the potatoes, peas, chicken, cucumber, scallions and lemon zest.
Add all of the basil dressing and stir to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature

Basil Dressing
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup packed cilantro, leaves and stems
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbl minced scallions, green parts only
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
juice from 1/2 lemon

Blend together until smooth.

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