California Wine Country Salad

Source: California Table Grape Commission
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Main Ingredient: Fruit
Menu Part: Salad
Cuisine Type: American
Serves: 12

Entrée salads are big with the lunch crowd—especially those customers who are looking for a portable alternative to the sandwich. This salad solution can easily be toted to a desk or outdoor venue during the work- or school day. The healthy mix is enhanced by lean grilled chicken breast, grapes, avocados and almonds for a well-balanced and fresh-tasting lunch. A wine-based Zinfandel dressing pumps up the flavor.

Ingredients

24 cups mesclun or baby greens
12 oz. toasted whole almonds
2 lb. red, green and black California seedless grapes
2 1/2 lb. thick sliced black pepper bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
3 lb. grilled chicken breast, diced
6 ripe avocados, cubed
12 oz. crumbled goat cheese
1 qt. Zinfandel Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Zinfandel Vinaigrette
2 cups California Zinfandel wine
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup  lemon juice
2 tbsp. chopped shallots
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
2 tsp. dry mustard
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 cup olive oil
1 cup vegetable oil

Steps

  1. Arrange greens in 12 large clamshell containers.
  2. Cluster each of the separate ingredients decoratively on the greens. Serve with a 2-oz. container of Zinfandel Vinaigrette.

Zinfandel Vinaigrette
In non-reactive saucepan, reduce red wine by half to yield 1 cup liquid. Allow to cool. In blender or food processor, puree reduced wine, sugar, lemon juice, shallots, garlic, mustard salt, pepper and thyme. Gradually add the oils until well emulsified. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week; shake well before serving.
Yield: 1 qt.