Spring, glorious Spring! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping and I’m super excited to share this delicious recipe with you that’s perfect for the season: Shredded Chicken & Brussels Sprouts Salad with Toasted Sesame Vinaigrette. This salad has oodles of delicious flavor and texture and is packed with healthy ingredients including organic chicken breast, Brussels sprouts, Pink Lady apples, chiles, garlic and fresh mint. For wine lovers I also have a fabulous pairing for you to enjoy with this dish, but more on that in a minute.
The secret to making the healthy, lighter fare of Spring and Summer more appealing, in my kitchen at least, is to never compromise on flavor. Munching on bland lettuce and vegetables is just not going to leave me (or the hubs for that matter) feeling satisfied so infusing these dishes with lots of flavor is KEY. Something as simple as toasting nuts or seeds to enhance their flavor, using good olive oil or seasoning a dish adequately with salt and pepper before serving can make ALL the difference in the world in the finished dish.
This fabulous salad also features on of my favorite seasonal ingredients, the Pink Lady apple. I adore their crunchy, sweet-tart flavor not to mention their beautiful blush-pink color, often with a greenish background depending on the level of ripeness. The Pink Lady apple (aka Cripps Pink) was created in the 1970s by John Cripps of the Western Australia Department of Agriculture and is a cross between the “Lady Williams” and “Golden Delicious” varieties. While originally invented in Australia, it has thankfully been grown in the US since the 1990’s and we always have them in the house when they’re in season. This apple’s sweet flavor really complements the spicy Fresno peppers, fresh mint and crunchy Brussels sprouts in this salad.
As for wine, I highly recommend the Claude Riffault Sancerre “Les Boucauds” from France’s Loire Valley. This 100% Sauvignon Blanc is crafted from 10-50 year old, organically farmed vines planted on terres blanches soils. The wine is vinified in both stainless steel and French oak (50/50) and bottled unfiltered in order to preserve the complex aromas and flavors of the finished wine. The result is an immensely enjoyable white wine with notes of citrus, passionfruit and elderflower with a lovely minerality and zippy acidity that complements the Shredded Chicken & Brussels Sprout Salad with Toasted Sesame Vinaigrette beautifully.
I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do! What are your favorite flavors of Spring and Summer? Please let us know – we’d love to hear from you!
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