Rush Hour Gourmet

Posted: July 05, 2007

Summer salads almost demand the crispest, freshest greens from the local farmers market.

The type of greens doesn't matter nearly as much as that freshness, as author Honga Im Hopgood notes in this recipe for one of the more popular offerings at her pan-Asian restaurant, Honga's Lotus Petal, in Telluride, Colo.

It is one of many appealing recipes in her debut cookbook, Honga's Lotus Petal, written with Lise Waring (Gibbs Smith, $29.95).

Unlike restaurant cookbooks that disappoint and distress cooks with complex methods and esoteric ingredients, Honga's strikes a balance between authentic and doable. Where specific brands or ingredients may be hard to find, alternatives are suggested and sources noted.

This is ideal for pre-roasted chicken leftovers.

Honga's Chicken Salad

(Makes 4 servings)

1 to 2 cups shredded roasted chicken

1/4 pound mixed field greens

1 orange

1 avocado, diced (see Note)

8 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/8 cup roasted, slivered almonds

1 scallion, chopped

1/3 to 1/2 cup Honey Sesame Dressing (see Note)

Fried chow mein noodles (optional)

1. In a salad bowl, toss the chicken and greens.

2. Peel and segment the orange, cutting the membrane away from each segment.

3. Top with orange pieces, avocado, tomatoes halves, almonds and scallion.

4. Drizzle with Honey Sesame Dressing.

5. If desired, garnish with chow mein noodles.

Note: To dice an avocado, slice it in half, remove the pit, and slice the flesh in squares while still in the skin. With a large spoon, scoop out the flesh along the contour of the skin.

For Honey Sesame Dressing, in a blender, combine 1/2 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar or cider vinegar, 1/2 cup honey or agave nectar, 1/4 cup tamari soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons minced gingerroot. With blender on, slowly drizzle 2 tablespoons sesame oil and 1/3 cup grapeseed (or salad) oil through lid opening. Transfer dressing to a pourer or bowl and fold in the sesame seeds.

Per serving (based on 4): 686 calories, 71 grams protein, 29 grams carbohydrates, 19 grams sugar, 32 grams fat, 202 milligrams cholesterol, 479 milligrams sodium, 8 grams dietary fiber.

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