Mediterranean Chicken Salad with Artichoke Spinach Relish (dressing)

Anita Appetizer, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Greens, Herbs, Paleo, Salad, What's Cooking 4 Comments

Mediterranean Chicken Salad
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Do you sometimes dream solutions to your questions??  A couple of weeks ago, I did.   Let me backtrack a bit.  I’m one of those foodies that’s always thinking about ingredients and how they would fit together to create new flavors.  This process has been on overdrive since my detox began (which I’m still on, believe it or not).  I went to sleep the other night with food on my mind.  I wanted to revamp the artichoke spinach dip to a dish that I could have, and I woke up the next day with a vague plan.

As I began chopping and dicing, everything sort of fell into place beautifully.   Since then, I have made this salad three times. I’m excited to share it with you today.

Chicken and Herb Prep
Mediterranean Chicken Salad with Spinach Artichoke Relish

2 skinless chicken breasts, grilled and diced
3-4 stalks celery, diced
1 large Granny Smith apple, diced
1 bunch green scallions, green stalks only diced ( if you use the whole scallion, 1/2 the quantity)
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
3 tbsp fresh oregano leaves 
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, cut
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large lemon, juiced about 1/4 cup
1/2 tsp sea salt (adjust to taste)

Salt the chicken on both sides and brush with olive oil. Grill until done.  Set aside to cool before dicing.
In a large bowl, dice celery, apple, scallions, chicken.  Add herbs, olive oil, lemon and salt.  Toss well until blended.  Add 1/2 cup of the relish (recipe below) as dressing and toss well.  Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.

Artichoke Spinach Relish (dressing) 

1/4 celery, diced (about 1 stalk)
1/4 cup capers
1/4 cup scallions 
2 anchovy filets (can be omitted if you don’t like them)
1 small jar artichoke hearts, drained
3 handfuls baby spinach
4-6 leaves fresh lemon verbena
3-4 sprigs marjoram, leaves only
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2-3/4 tsp sea salt

In a blender, add capers, celery, anchovies, scallions, lemon verbena olive oil and lemon.  Blend until coarse purée. Add artichokes, spinach, salt and marjoram and blend (or pulse) until well mixed but not a smooth paste.  Keep it somewhat chunky.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  This relish will keep in the fridge for four days, and works great with any grilled item. Enjoy!

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