Spinach Salad with Apricots and Walnut Crusted Chicken

May  3, 2014
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Growing up in a Hungarian family, apricots and walnuts are found together in so many pastries and desserts, it was easy to transition the same flavors to a fresh salad. It's perfect for spring, when fresh apricots become available. —Emily Z

What You'll Need
  • The Walnut Crusted Chicken
  • 1 pound Chicken Breast Tenders
  • 1 cup Plain Bread Crumbs
  • 1 cup Walnuts, chopped or ground fine
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • The Salad and Dressing
  • 5-6 Strips of Thickly Sliced Bacon
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Walnut Oil
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons Honey
  • 4 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 Red Onion, sliced
  • 4 Fresh Apricots, pitted and sliced
  • 4 tablespoons Crumbled Blue Cheese
  • 4 teaspoons Walnuts, chopped and lightly toasted
  1. The Walnut Crusted Chicken
  2. Wash and pat dry the chicken breasts. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Mix the ground walnuts, breadcrumbs and parmesan.
  4. Dip the chicken breast tenders into the beaten egg and then coat with the breadcrumb mixture on both sides, flattening the tenders gently with the palm of your hand.
  5. Over medium heat, add enough olive oil to a skillet to coat the bottom. When the oil begins to shimmer slightly, cook the chicken strips until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes on one side. Flip and cook another 3-4 minutes. Do this in batches, adding a little more oil if necessary in between.
  1. The Salad and Dressing
  2. Fry the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Set bacon aside on paper towels to absorb any excess grease. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.
  3. Turn heat down to medium low and add the walnut oil and the minced garlic.
  4. Add the balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the honey. Taste. Add more honey if you like a sweeter dressing. Add a pinch of salt, if needed too. (It depends on the saltiness of your bacon.)
  5. With each salad, use 1 cup of baby spinach, 1 apricot, 1 teaspoon toasted walnuts, a few sliced red onions and one tablespoon of crumbled blue cheese.
  6. Slice the walnut crusted chicken tenders and place on the bed of spinach. Chop bacon and sprinkle on each salad.
  7. Drizzle with warm balsamic dressing.

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