Sometimes, in the bleak mid-winter when absolutely nothing is in season, you absolutely have to have a salad. Here in the northeast United States, certain foods, no matter what the time of year, always come from elsewhere, foods like avocado, lemon and olives. I'm not sure there's a season for rotisserie chicken, either. So, why not take all of these out-of-season ingredients and toss them with a great from-the-pantry dressing? For these chicken and avocado lettuce boats, I used heirloom cherry tomatoes from Trader Joe's. If you can't find decent winter tomatoes, use red bell pepper instead, for color and crunch. Close your eyes, take a bite, and you'll forget all about winter.
Chicken and avocado lettuce boats with buttermilk Dijon dressing
For the dressing:
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp capers, chopped
1/4 tsp agave nectar
1/2 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper, or to taste
For the salad:
2 cups diced cooked chicken breast (I use rotisserie chicken from the grocery store)
1 avocado, peeled and diced
1/2 large green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup diced cucumber
2-3 plum tomatoes, diced, or 3/4 cup of cherry tomatoes
Handful of black olives, cut in half
Fresh dill weed (2 Tbsp chopped, plus extra for garnish)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Romaine lettuce leaves
In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients, and set aside.
Meanwhile, add the chicken, avocado, cucumber, green pepper, cucumber, tomatoes and olives to a mixing bowl. Toss in a few tablespoons of chopped dill, and as much of the dressing as you like. Stir everything well, then fold in the feta cheese. Pile salad into the lettuce leaves.
Serve at room temperature, garnished with additional dill fronds.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Turkey salad with grapes and walnuts
Greek pasta salad with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette
Greek turkey burgers with yogurt and feta sauce
Chicken salad with mustard sauce and lovage
Curried chicken salad with bell pepper, peanuts and raisins
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Turkey apple salad melt panini, from Panini Happy
Brown rice salad with leftover turkey, red cabbage, and pecans, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Turkey salad with lemon, capers, mustard and cornichons, from David Lebovitz
Chicken salad with roasted bell peppers and toasted almonds, from Simply Recipes
Waldorf salad with chicken and buttermilk dressing, from Macheesmo
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