Holiday Salads: One New, and Several “Review”
I had my dressmaking friends over earlier in the week for a Christmas lunch, and served a festive chicken salad as part of the meal.
It’s a salad of contrasts, really, which is what makes it so delicious; it’s sweet yet salty, soft yet crunchy, and red yet green. Because of the Christmas colors, this dish would make a gorgeous addition to any Christmas buffet. The salad calls for cooked chicken. Feel free to use a grocery store roasted chicken to save time, or go ahead and cook it yourself. Unlike other chicken salads, the dressing is a blend of mayonnaise and store-bought poppyseed dressing. That might sound odd at first blush, but the addition of the poppyseed dressing adds another interesting flavor/texture combo to the dish.
Oh! And I can’t forget that there’s luscious avocado in the salad as well. I must be low on whatever primary vitamin or mineral avocados provide (Potassium, Vitamin C? I’m not sure), because I can’t get enough of them lately. Considering the California drought, they’ve become a mighty expensive habit!
I’m also going to include links to various other salads below that might go well on your holiday buffet.
Here’s how you make the salad.
Recipe Courtesy of: Southernliving.com
Festive Christmas Chicken Salad
|Prep time||20 minutes|
- 1/2 cup Store-bought poppyseed dressing
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1.5lb cooked chicken (about 3.5 cups)
- 2 celery ribs (sliced)
- 1 pint fresh strawberries (halved)
- 1 avocado (cut into 1 inch cubes)
- 1/2 Small red onion (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds (toasted)
- 10oz package mixed salad greens
|Whisk together dressing and mayonnaise in a bowl.|
|Add dressing to chopped chicken and next 5 ingredients, gently tossing to coat. Serve over mixed salad greens.|
Here are some more salad options for your holiday table:
How about a sort of salad bar salad called an Irish Pub Salad? I always think of it as a gorgeous artist’s palate of a salad. I served this as a starter for Thanksgiving. Since we’re all trying to watch what we eat, it was a great way to consume healthy, filling veggies before all of the other more caloric dishes tempted us. The idea is that folks take a little lettuce and whatever other elements they’d like from around the plate, and then scoop on the delicious tarragon dressing.
To make this completely Christmassy, you could go with primarily red and green items: par-boiled green beans, broccoli, tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, etc.
Or, why not serve a platter chock full of classic wedge salads with bacon and buttermilk ranch dressing? Frankly, this is what I’m serving for Christmas dinner. We’re having filet, twice-baked potatoes, Mushrooms Diane, Onion casserole, and wedge salad. Yum! (Mom, Heather, or Erin – if you’re reading this, be sure to come prepared with an empty stomach!)
If any of those don’t sound quite right, perhaps this dish will strike a chord. It’s a Mediterranean salad that’s a wonderful, healthy side to both pasta and roasts. With sliced fennel, red peppers and red onions, and Italian salami, it packs a real flavor punch. I’ve been making it for years, and it’s always delicious!
And here’s my final offer. No, it’s not a bowl of sand. It’s actually a sweet and creamy side dish consisting of red and greens grapes, pecans, brown sugar, sour cream, and cream cheese. Yes, I know it sounds very odd, but it’s actually delicious, lends a nice sweet offering to your holiday buffet, and is a complete crowd pleaser. Be prepared to send your guests here for the recipe because they will absolutely want it! Best Grape Salad.
Phew! So there are five salad options for your holiday meal. Which one looks best to you? Hopefully one of them will work well with whatever you’re serving and with whomever is coming over to celebrate with you and yours.