I finally got around to hanging curtains in our family room and the timing couldn’t have been better, forecast for today: 94 degrees. It is by far the warmest day of the summer and I have no intentions of turning on the oven. I’m experimenting with a healthy snack bar (apples, cinnamon, dates!) which I’ll show you later this week.

I made this chicken salad for a family birthday party over the weekend. The party was actually a chicken cook-off and this salad earned me a third place ribbon and a lovely pot of miniature roses.

I scoured my cookbooks, bookmarks and blogs for a worthy contender and came away with this chicken salad. The nuttiness of the toasted walnuts, the licorice flavor of the tarragon played a perfect balance with the sweet dried cranberries with just enough mayonnaise to pull it all together. Quite refreshing and perfect for summer.

Cranberry Walnut Chicken Salad
Recipe from Gourmet

  • 4 cups cooked chicken, cubed
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 3 T shallot, minced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 T white wine vinegar
  • 2 T fresh tarragon, minced
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper

Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl until combined well. I like to serve mine on top a slice of buttered toasted bread. It’s also wonderful spooned inside lettuce, atop of crackers or eaten straight from the spoon. :)

Images: sammyw