Sunday, April 22, 2012

Moroccan Salad with Mango Yogurt Dressing

I love North Carolina. It is a beautiful state with both mountains and sea, but the unpredictable weather drives me nuts sometimes! We had a glimpse of spring; mid-70 degree afternoons and slightly cool nights. Landscapes started to bloom and turn green and the Farmer's Market showed the initial signs of spring produce.

Then out of nowhere, we get a cold, wet weekend to throw everything off. Determined to not ruin my spring-drive, I decided to make a fresh salad for dinner. I used a sandwich recipe that I had come across previously as inspiration for my Moroccan-style salad.

Moroccan Salad with Mango Yogurt Dressing

Since Ryan and I have a love for Indian cuisine, we always have mango chutney in our fridge. So if you don't have this on hand, you could easily replace apricot preserves for the dressing or replace the dressing entirely with your favorite.

Another thing worth mentioning is the caramelized onions. A few nights ago, I had some girls over for drinks and appetizers. I made caramelized onions as a tapenade to go along with a farm goat cheese and crackers. The night ended with leftover onions, which I decided to save for another use. Glad I did, because they were fantastic on this salad!

To make caramelized onions, slice 2 yellow onions (sweet onions) and saute them in a skillet with 2 T olive oil and pinch of salt for about 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. This seems like a long time, but you want to cook them over medium-low heat, so it takes a while for the natural sugars to come out and caramelize the outside. Here is what they should look like when finished:

Moroccan Salad with Mango Yogurt Dressing

Moroccan Salad with Mango Yogurt Dressing

Yields: 2 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

For the Chicken:
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger 
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil

For the Dressing:
2 tablespoons mango chutney
2 tablespoons buttermilk
4 tablespoons whole plain yogurt

For the Salad:
Romaine lettuce
Mixed spring greens
Red bell pepper, chopped
Caramelized onions
Pine nuts
Mango yogurt dressing (recipe above)

Combine the all the spices together with the olive oil and mix well. Rub generously on both sides of the chicken and set aside for up to an hour to marinate.
To make the dressing, combine the mango chutney, buttermilk and yogurt and mix well. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400F and heat an oven-safe saute pan over medium-high heat. Saute the chicken breasts in the pan for 3 minutes per side, being careful to not burn the chicken. After sauteing, place the pan in the oven to finish cooking, about 10 minutes.


Moroccan Salad with Mango Yogurt Dressing

While the chicken is cooking, assemble the salad with romaine, mixed greens, red bell pepper, pine nuts and caramelized onions. Slice the finished chicken and place on top of the salad and drizzle with the dressing. Serve immediately.


The feeling of spring stays with you through the random cold nights in NC!

2 comments:

  1. Your blog is awesome!! :)
    I'm looking for some other yummy appetizers for a girl's wine night coming up... I like the idea above with the carmelized onions and goat cheese. yum!
    Do you have any other good ideas that would be easy and light? So many "easy" apps are so heavy...
    Love you!!
    Audrey

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    1. Thanks for following! I do have some ideas for easy and light apps! Roasting fruit is one of my new favs - I take red grapes off the stem, drizzle a bit of olive oil, salt & pepper and roast in 400F oven for about 10 minutes, or just until they start to pop open. Serve this (cooled) along with goat cheese or your favorite cheese with crackers as well. Roasted red pepper dip is another great idea for non-dairy eaters - served with celery and carrot sticks. I also roast cauliflower florets and serve those with the roasted red pepper dip. Salad shooter shot glasses - if you have a lot of shot glasses, put ranch or dip in the bottom and then put in the veggie sticks so they poke out and are easy to grab (and already dipped). Hope this helps :)

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