I have always thought that most chicken salad is the same recipe, with a few tweaks. This is an entirely different breed of main dish salad. Two ingredients that you don't typically see in salad recipes give it a taste of the Islands. This can easily double as both a salad & a sandwich filling.
Charlene, a Conference Center friend, has done it again - she is a walking cookbook. We were visiting a few weeks ago when she mentioned this salad. Being the sharing person she is, she emailed it right away. It is definitely in a league of it’s own...
One of the ingredients is Beau Monde seasoning - which was a new one to me. When I finally located it (at a larger Smith’s Marketplace) I read the ingredients to find nothing unusual that I hadn’t tried before. But, as always, it’s the combination that counts. Beau Monde is a seasoning salt that enhances the flavor of most foods (except sweets), and is marketed under the “Spice Islands” label. I can’t describe the flavor, but it’s perfect for this recipe.
Crystallized ginger is another ingredient I’ve never been anxious to try - mainly because of the price (almost $11.00 for a tiny jar in the spice aisle). Charlene told me to check out the bulk foods section of the grocery store, where it really isn’t exorbitantly priced. After trying it in this recipe, I’m going to use it in place of fresh ginger root (that is tricky to find at times). It was easy to chop, and added a really unusual flavor.
Charlene serves this on a bed of greens with a slice of chilled canned pineapple, then garnishes with a tiny slice of cantaloupe. I opted to use fresh cut pineapple, since it is so readily available right now. I'll have to try serving it on cantaloupe rings.
This would be a fun lunch or brunch idea for summertime. I know most women would thrive on it. The jury is out as far as my sons and grandchildren - but I’ll save the meat & potatoes (and mac 'n cheese) for them. Don’t ‘cast your pearls before swine’ - when it comes to sharing this unusual summer salad.
For the recipe, go to: