Tomatoes are an excellent source of antioxidants including vitamins A and C, lutein, and lycopene. The carotenoid, lutein, which is found in abundance in tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, and egg yolks, may help promote cognitive function and prevent age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and breast cancer.
This zesty recipe for Lime and Cilantro Chicken Salad was sent to CCSA as part of a series of emails from our resident chef, Dr. Linda Doody. She has been sharing her extensive collection of favorite recipes with friends, family, and the CCSA team as a means of maintaining connection during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I know once people get connected to real food, they never change back.”
Lime and Cilantro Chicken Salad
Nordstrom Entertaining at Home Cookbook, John Clem and Michael Northern (2005)
- Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette
- ⅓ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar (aka rice vinegar) (Unseasoned rice wine vinegar is made by fermenting the sugars in rice first into alcohol, and then into acid. Seasoned rice wine vinegar is made from sake or by adding sugar and salt to regular rice wine vinegar [¼ cup rice wine vinegar + 4 tsp sugar + ½ tsp kosher salt])
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tsp puréed chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (Chipotle chiles [smoke-dried jalapeños] packed in adobo sauce [ground chile, herbs, tomato, and vinegar] are available canned in most grocery stores)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cup canola oil
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro stems and leaves
- 3 ears corn, shucked and grilled or boiled (When corn is not in season, you can use Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn kernels)
- 1¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper, cooked and cut into strips. (Bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts work well; either freshly grilled or leftover chicken can also be used)
- 1½ cups diced plum tomatoes (Cherry tomatoes or regular tomatoes without the watery seeds can be substituted)
- 1-pound mixed baby greens
- 2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Jack cheese
- ½ cup chopped roasted red bell pepper (To roast a bell pepper, place on a charcoal or gas grill or directly on a gas stove burner, and roast, turning when each side has blackened and blistered. Place in a plastic or paper bag until cool enough to handle, then peel away the skin. Cut in half and remove the stem, seeds, and ribs. In a pinch, jarred roasted red bell peppers are available in most grocery stores, or you could just substitute fresh peppers)
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- ¾ cup toasted salted pumpkin seeds (Crisp tortilla strips can be added or substituted)
- Lime wedges for serving
- Chipotle Lime Vinaigrette
- In a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine vinegar, lime juice, garlic, chipotle chile, honey, and salt, and process until thoroughly combined and smooth. (Note: For efficiency, you can process the ingredients in steps—first the whole garlic clove, then chipotle chile pieces with adobo, and finally the rest of the ingredients. With the machine running, gradually add the oil in a thin steady stream to form an emulsion. Add the cilantro and pulse or process to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.)
- Cut the corn kernels from the cobs; working with 1 ear at a time, stand it upright, stem end down, on a cutting board. (Note: To keep the kernels corralled, the cob can also be placed upright in a shallow bowl.) Using a sharp knife, cut downward along the cob, removing the kernels, rotating the cob after each cut. Put the kernels in a large salad bowl. You should have ~2 cups.
- Add the chicken, tomatoes, greens, Jack cheese, and bell pepper to the corn. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently to coat the ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Using tongs, transfer the salad to chilled salad bowls or plates, building height in the center. Scatter pumpkin seeds over each serving. Pass lime wedges at the table.