A salad with strawberries that Erin Smith's mother enjoyed in a restaurant made such an impression that she frequently described it with flavorful details. Laden with clues, Smith concocted her own version as the surprise for a Mother's Day picnic. She was right on, and the salad was a hit.
1/4 cup sliced almonds
4 boned, skinned chicken breast halves (6 oz. each)
3 tablespoons minced fresh or 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup reduced-fat or regular mayonnaise
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seed
3 quarts (about 9 oz.) salad mix, rinsed and crisped
2 cups strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
Salt and pepper
How to Make It
Stir almonds just until golden in a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium heat, about 4 minutes. Pour out of pan.
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Mix tarragon, garlic, and oil. Rub all over chicken to coat.
Set frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add chicken and cook, turning once, until meat is white in center of thickest part (cut to test), 8 to 10 minutes total. Remove from pan. Use warm or let cool.
To make the salad dressing, mix mayonnaise with lemon juice, sugar, and poppy seed.
Combine salad mix with strawberries and half the dressing. Mound salad equally on dinner plates and set chicken alongside or on top.
Drizzle chicken with remaining dressing. Sprinkle with toasted almonds. Add salt and pepper to taste.