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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
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
- Wash and pat dry the chicken breasts. Season with salt and pepper.
- Mix the ground walnuts, breadcrumbs and parmesan.
- 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.
- 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.
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
- 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.
- Turn heat down to medium low and add the walnut oil and the minced garlic.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Slice the walnut crusted chicken tenders and place on the bed of spinach. Chop bacon and sprinkle on each salad.
- Drizzle with warm balsamic dressing.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Walnuts