This salad, oh, this salad...
We might be turning humble romaine into a legal addictive stimulant right here and I think that's a pretty wonderful thing.
The citrus is so gorgeous this time of year. I have eaten so many oranges over the past couple weeks that I am probably sweating vitamin C. There should be no chance of getting sick this year.
Right here we have a trio of citrus paired with the most addictive dressing on the planet.
Blood oranges are bright and floral and cara caras pack a little more acidity. The limes play a duel role, brightening the dressing and adding a finishing punch when squeezed over the salad.
I love adding nuts to my salads because of the crunch and texture, but then there is always the challenge of trying to fanagil nuts onto a fork, so I decided to make salad sprinkles.
Okay, they are not exactly sprinkles, but as delicious as they are, they might as well be. Toasted coconut and cashews are ground up into fine crumbs which evenly coat every bite, adding crunch and the most wonderful, nutty flavor.
Somehow, I love this combination, even though I normally despise cashews, and am still on the fence most times when it comes to coconut. I might be a little fickle.
The dressing? It's everything. Soy sauce, brown sugar, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, garlic, lime juice, and sesame seeds end up being the most surprisingly delightful combination.
While I added chicken to this salad, you could totally go vegetarian. I also feel like sauteed shrimp would be a really wonderful idea here.
I have never before been so excited to eat a salad.
You are going to want to start making this dressing in bulk, just a warning.
Eating healthy is so much fun.
Chicken, Cashew & Citrus Salad with Sweet and Spicy Cinnamon Soy Vinaigrette
serves 2, but can easily be multiplied for larger groups
for the coconut cashew crumble
This will make a bit more than you will need for two salads, but you can store the crumble in zip-top bags for future salads for up to two weeks.
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
Place cashews and coconut in a large, nonstick skillet and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until the coconut is golden and the cashews are shiny. Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to the work bowl of your food processor.
Pulse until finely chopped. Store in a zip-top bag until ready to use.
for the chicken
- 2 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
Pat the chicken dry using a paper towel and season each side liberally with salt and pepper.
Pour olive oil into large, nonstick skillet and set over medium high heat. Heat until the oil begins to shimmer, then add the chicken. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, until the exterior is deep golden and crisp and the interior temperature reads at 165 degrees F.
Transfer to a cutting board and slice into strips. Allow the chicken to cool until just warm while you prepare the other components of the salad.
for the vinaigrette
- 3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine soy sauce and brown sugar in a 2-quart saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is simmering and the sugar has dissolved; remove from heat.
Stir in garlic, sesame seeds, cinnamon, red pepper flakes and lime juice. Slowly stream in olive oil while whisking vigorously.
Transfer the dressing to a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake well before using.
- 2 medium heads romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2 medium cara cara oranges, peeled and segmented
- 3 small blood oranges, peeled and segmented
- prepared chicken
- prepared crumble
- prepared vinaigrette
Fill two bowls with chopped romaine and top with oranges, sliced chicken, and the coconut cashew crumble. Drizzle with the prepared vinaigrette and serve immediately. Enjoy!