Recipe by Nancy Johnson
Wine Commentary by Gary Twining
Although this recipe calls for baby spinach, you can use baby kale instead. The dressing is so good I often make a second batch to pass at the table.
4 chicken breast fillets
1 bag baby spinach
1 bag mixed greens
1 cup julienned carrots
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 small red onion, diced
1 (15 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
2 cups sliced strawberries
Poppy Seed Dressing
3 TBS orange juice
2 TBS honey
2 TBS cider vinegar
1 tsp dry mustard
2/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1/2 tsp poppy seeds
Grill chicken breasts 5-6 minutes per side until instant read thermometer registers 165°F.
In a large bowl, gently toss spinach, mixed greens, carrots, red cabbage, red onion, mandarin oranges and strawberries.
In a blender or food processor, mix orange juice, honey, cider vinegar and dry mustard. Slowly add oil. Stir in poppy seeds. Pour over salad ingredients and toss. Divide salad among 4 plates. Top each with grilled chicken breast. Serves 4.
Gary: With its yin/yang of sweetness from the orange juice and honey and the piquancy from the vinegar and mustard, a softly sweet or lightly dry Riesling would be an exceptional pairing. Semi-dry Tokay or Chenin Blanc would also work. One wine many people have not experienced is an Austrian Grüner Veltliner, a go-to choice for many who like to pair wine with salads. Don’t overlook an off-dry rosé with this salad, and try reds with a hint of sweetness and good acidity, such as softly dry Lambrusco (in the traditional off-dry style) or Dornfelder.