Smoked Chicken Salad with Grapes & Parmesan-Tarragon Dressing

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I’m a big proponent of fresh herbs, but sometimes the dried variety has a completely different flavor from the fresh one. Dried oregano, for example, has a taste all its own, one that lends itself better to certain recipes. Or take fresh cilantro and dried coriander seeds: They taste totally dissimilar!

The same goes for tarragon: Fresh tarragon tastes like fresh licorice or anise, while the taste of dried tarragon is much richer—almost creamy! This is precisely why it works so well in this dressing. I wholeheartedly recommend it. Besides, during the middle of winter it’s a godsend, because that’s when there’s no fresh tarragon to be found on my terrace.

Ingredients

For the Dressing

  • 7 tablespoons (100 g) plain Greek yogurt (10% fat)
  • ½ cup (50 g) finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons home made mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • teaspoons dried tarragon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad

  • 1 small fennel bulb, very thinly shaved, fronds reserved for garnish
  • 2 heads Belgian endive, cut into thin strips
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 container vegetable sprouts, such as red cabbage or radish sprouts (alfalfa and garden cress are great too)
  • A handful of seedless white grapes, halved
  • 6 tablespoons (50 g) shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 2 smoked chicken breasts (or smoked trout fillet!), cut into strips

Method

Prepare

In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt, cheese, mayonnaise, vinegar, tarragon, and salt and pepper to make a dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Place the shaved fennel in a bowl of ice water and let stand for 20 minutes, or until it becomes crunchy and starts to curl a little.

Toss the Belgian endive with the lemon juice in a large bowl.

Make

Drain the fennel and spin it dry in a clean kitchen towel or a salad spinner. Add to the endive, along with the sprouts, grapes, and pistachios, and toss. Divide the salad among four wide glass cups. Drizzle with the dressing, arrange the chicken strips and reserved fennel fronds on top, and serve.