Saturday, August 2, 2008


When I first became Principal of the Big M, we used to have monthly "salad days," so-called because our breakfast-lunch buffets would hold an enormous selection of foods. As some of us got older and busier and others were younger and less-inclined to cook or bake, we discontinued this practice, both because we were becoming more health conscious (marathon eating and menopause don't mix) and because more and more store-bought foods were showing up on our table.

My title "salad days" in this instance is far more literal. For my lunch with friends this week, I made a carrot salad and chicken salad that were long on flavor and short on healthfulness. Moderation is the key, however, and lunches like this one can be enjoyed from time to time without worry of hardening arteries or growing derrieres.

I have to confess that part of my desire to lunch "in" this week was to coerce P and G into coming to the house to install my new router. Both groaned when they saw the brand (Netgear). I was inclined to agree given that there were virtually no instructions and their 24/7 helpline was useless. My brilliant friend G managed to hotdog her way through the installation and my laptop is now wireless and I can join Larry in the living room after dinner instead of squirreling myself away in the sewing/computer room.

These salads would work equally well on a brunch buffet and are lovely to look at (my photography not withstanding).
Carrot Salad
1/3 cup raisins
1 lb carrots
2 tbs lemon juice

1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup diced fresh pineapple

Place the raisins in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for a few minutes, then drain.

Place grating blade on your food processor. For ease in processing, cut the carrots in half and place lying on their sides in your feed tube. Process in batches.

Place carrots in medium bowl and add the lemon juice. Toss. Mix the dressing in another bowl: whish the sour cream with the mayonnaise. Add sugar and salt and blend. Pour over carrots just before serving. Add the pineapple and mix well.

4 split chicken breasts (about 3-3 1/2 lbs)
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup pecans
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream
3 tbs chopped fresh tarragon leaves
2 cups green grapes, cut in half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breasts, skin side up, on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Cool, then remove skin and bones and dice into 1 inch pieces.

Place pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Mix the dressing: mix together the mayonnaise and sour cream and season with 1 tsp salt and pepper to taste. Fold in half the tarragon.

Place chicken in a large bowl. Add the pecans and grapes. Pour over the dressing and mix well. Sprinkle with remaining tarragon.

Go ahead! Invite some friends to lunch!


  1. Ohhhhh these salads sound soooooo good!!!!!

    We have lots of carrots in the garden. Carrot Salad will be on the menu as good as I get the other ingredients. I'm looking forward to this.


  2. The salads sound good I will be trying the chicken salad and carrot salad very soon..


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