Apple Butter Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese and Pistachios

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Apple butter doesn’t always have to be spread on toast, or mixed in muffins or streusels.  When paired with the right ingredients – goat cheese, pistachios, persimmons, apple butter – you can enjoy the sweet cinnamon taste with any meal!  Here, I replaced chicken salad’s usual mayo binder with apple butter, added some herbed goat cheese to cut the sweetness, pistachios for an added crunch, and persimmons for texture.  Persimmons are a fruit that look like tomatoes, but are heartier and slightly sweeter – a great compliment to the soft cheese and crunchy pistachios.  Plus, they’re orange…and best in October! This salad is simple, fresh, and very fall.

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Ingredients:

-salad greens

-persimmons (or something in the orange color family…apricots?)

-tomatoes (I used kumato, but heirloom would also add nice color)

-goat cheese, room temperature

-raw, shelled pistachios

-cooked, shredded chicken

-apple butter

-dried herbs (I used oregano, parsley, sage)

-salt & pepper

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Instructions:

We’ll start with the herbed goat cheese.  Using a spoon, mix your goat cheese (1oz. per salad) with 1t dried spices – make sure you crush the dried herbs before you mix them in.  You can do this in advance, and let the cheese pick up the flavors for a few days.  Don’t like goat cheese? That’s fine – choose the cheese you like best.  A crumbly feta will still hold the herbs well, or if you’re not into herbs try a hard, shaved cheese like parmesan!  Take the shredded chicken, and mix in the apple butter.  I don’t like a ton of “dressing” on my salad, so I used about 2T.  Next, shell the pistachios, cut the persimmons, tomatoes, and lettuce, and plate your salad!

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This lunch makes Monday so much more bearable…can’t wait!

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