Grilled Chicken Salad with Honey Poppy Seed Dressing

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.

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