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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Spinach, Chicken and Pasta Salad

Updated: This salad is so good! Tips from the chef: FOLLOW RECIPE EXACTLY FOR BEST RESULTS - i.e. honey roasted peanuts, NOT dry roasted, FLAT leaf parsley, NOT curly, marinate the bowtie pasta for at least a few hours - it makes the world of difference!

This is the FULL recipe - seriously would feed 30 plus people with generous servings. Can half to feed 15 plus easily! After making this myself, I would say the full batch would serve 12-15 main dish servings.

1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup bottled Teriyaki sauce
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
6 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

16 ounces bowtie pasta

1 (10oz) bag fresh spinach
1 (6oz) bag craisins
3 (11oz) cans mandarin oranges, drained
2 (8oz) cans sliced water chestnuts, drained
1/2 cup FLAT LEAF parsley, chopped (not the curly stuff!) *we didn't like the parsley in there - I will leave it out next time*
1 bunch green onions, chopped (even some of the green portions of these)
1/4 cup sesame seeds, toasted (this is also key for the right flavor of the salad)
6 ounces HONEY ROASTED peanuts (I toss these at the VERY end just before serving)
2 cups cooked chicken, cut into small pieces

Blend dressing ingredients together in blender or food processor. Mix dressing and cooked bowtie pasta in medium bowl and marinate for AT LEAST 2 HOURS. Combine the rest of the salad ingredients in large salad bowl, add pasta and dressing and toss.

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