Despite the fact it’s February and 80 today, technically it’s still winter. I’ve witnessed trees, bushes and flowers blooming all around me. The temps and the budding make it easy to want to start thinking of spring food, but let’s not be too hasty. Old man winter is still lurking.
I love hearty salads in the winter that can be served as a full meal. We tend to shy away from salads in the colder months, but bulking them up with deep flavors is a key to their comfort. This salad includes smoky almonds that provide a crunch and are filling. They’re balanced nicely too by the apples so they’re not overpowering. Check out the substitutions if you prefer to avoid the processed food.
And, if you’re trying to do you best to eat in season, here’s technically what’s available until spring has officially sprung:
Servings: people as a main meal, 4 as a side salad
Whisk together the mustard and vinegar in a large bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking until the dressing is emulsified. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Cook the chicken strips according to the package directions, set aside. Using a knife or mandoline, thinly slice the apple into half-moons. Add the apples to the dressing and toss to coat. Add the chicken, arugula, smoked almonds and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss to coat. Dollop the ricotta over the top and serve immediately.