Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cheddar Chicken Salad with Fresh Corn and Red Onion

Did you treat yourself to some Italian Burgers with the game this weekend? If so, you may be looking for some lighter fare and for that I offer up yet another salad creation. This salad has a Southwester bent to it, and thus is perhaps a bit more appropriate on a steamy summer day, but is still packed full of flavors that can be happily enjoyed on a fall day. If you're lucky enough to get some of the very last of this year's sweet corn I would definitely use it here, although high-quality frozen sweet corn will do just fine in this recipe. Typically I would make this salad with grilled chicken, but the photo features this salad made with baked tofu because at the time I came up with this recipe I had just discovered how to make my own baked tofu and was going through a bit of a culinary obsession with it, as I so often do with ingredients. Whichever way you decide to go, either protein is beautifully complemented by sweet corn, slightly assertive red onion, and rich, sharp cheddar cheese. (And if you're craving a bit of extra saltiness and crunch, crumble some tortilla chips over the top). I keep thinking my desire to share new salad recipes is going to wane with the falling temperatures, but I'm still not ready to give up on this summer mainstay of my diet. Although fully embracing the wonderful ingredients of fall (apples, pumpkin, and squash, just to name a few) I intend to enjoy copious amounts of fresh greens for as long as the farmers' market supply allows.

Cheddar Chicken Salad with Fresh Corn and Red Onion
serves 1

4 ounces mixed salad greens
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced*
1/2 cup fresh corn (or frozen corn, thawed)
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 ounce shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 ounces cooked boneless skinless chicken breast or half recipe baked tofu, sliced
Cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Broken tortilla chips, for garnish (optional)
Salad dressing (honey mustard, ranch, or thinned barbecue sauce all work well)

*If raw red onion is too strong for your taste, wash the onion in cold water and dry before adding to the salad.

1. Rinse and dry salad greens, chop if necessary, place on a large plate, topping with red onion, corn, and scallions. Add chicken or baked tofu, sprinkle cheese over the top, and drizzle with dressing.

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