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Thin-Sliced Vegetable Salad with Walnuts, Chicken, and Basil Balsamic Vinaigrette


The flavors of Italy unite in this colorful salad featuring shredded chicken breast, a variety of salad greens, and a balsamic-vinegar dressing.

  • Servings: 4

Source: Body+Soul, July/August 2005


For the Dressing

  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt

For the Salad

  • 1 bunch arugula, stems trimmed, washed, dried, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small head radicchio, quartered, core removed, thinly sliced
  • 1 small head Boston lettuce, washed, dried, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, stalk and fronds removed, base trimmed, bulb cut in half lengthwise, cored, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 medium red pepper, cored, seeded, halved crosswise, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 large endive, leaves separated, washed and dried

  • Sea salt

For the Protein

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water
  • Sea salt


  1. Season the chicken with salt; place the broth (or water) and chicken in a small stockpot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, cover, and cook until chicken is just done, about 10 minutes. Remove breasts; cool, shred, and set aside. Reserve broth for future use.

  2. Place basil, vinegar, garlic, oil, and salt to taste in blender. Blend until smooth and set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, toss arugula, radicchio, lettuce, fennel, red pepper, onion, walnuts, 1/2 cup salad dressing, and salt and pepper to taste. Place three endive leaves in a three-pointed star with tips facing out on four individual dinner plates or wide shallow bowls. Place equal mounds of salad in center. Arrange chicken on top.

Cook's Notes

A chef's knife can be used to thinly slice the vegetables, but a Japanese-style mandoline, makes the job easy and the cut perfect -- a great and relatively inexpensive tool for vegetable lovers. The recipe makes extra dressing; serve it on the side.

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