Springtime Salad with Cilantro Citrus Dressing + Crispy Chicken Skin

I love the short season of juicy, sweet, crunchy snap peas. And radishes. And asparagus! When we’ve all come out of winter hibernation and the farmer’s market is full of new colors. I tend to go a little crazy and lose all sense of practicality when I see the first new produce of the season. Three baskets of strawberries? Sure. A pound of various spring onions and one very heavy bag of snap peas? Why not. French breakfast radishes? They’re so cute, I have to. I overbuy everything and reassure myself I’ll use every last bit. But alas, I have a 6-month-old baby and sometimes my ambitions get the best of me around dinnertime. Another night of breakfast tacos and the bountiful produce remains in the fridge. Although it’s worth mentioning we do load up our breakfast taco scrambles with swiss chard and every allium under the sun. I digress, point being: I overbuy produce and there inevitably comes a night when I look at what I need to use and make a mish-mash of a dinner. 

And this is how we ended up with Springtime Salad with Cilantro Citrus Dressing + Crispy Chicken Skin. A clean-out-the-fridge meal using produce that was on its last leg in our fridge. I tossed it in my citrus and cilantro dressing and it was an accidental *masterpiece*. I love it when that happens! Chiffonaded kale, thinly sliced sugar snap peas, radishes, and raw asparagus make up the base of this sweet and crunchy salad. Shredded rotisserie chicken makes it more of a main event. Toss it all in the dressing and let it sit for at least 30 minutes to marinate. Promise me you won’t skip this step! The salad just won’t be the same without it. Top it with the best quality, briny sheep’s milk feta you can get your hands on. Oh, and if you’re already using a rotisserie chicken, I highly recommend rendering the skin in a skillet for a shatteringly crisp topping.

I won’t sugarcoat it, this isn’t the quickest recipe. You’re going to need to slice, toss, taste, adjust, crisp, repeat. But I would never tell you to make it if it wasn’t worth it. Usually, the recipes I share have more specific measurements, but this recipe is extremely forgiving and the rough recipe works every time. Don’t have any of the veggies or the chicken? Skip ‘em. The kale is fabulous with the dressing all by itself. Have some leftover cooked grains? Throw ‘em in there. Check out the Riffs section underneath the recipe for more simple swaps. Oh, and do yourself a favor and make the dressing at the beginning of the week when you have the energy. It’ll make the rest of the dish come together so easily.  

Springtime Salad with Cilantro Citrus Dressing + Crispy Chicken Skin

Crunchy, sweet, and fresh, - throw all of the springtime veggies in your fridge in a bowl with my cilantro citrus dressing and shredded rotisserie chicken and enjoy. Serves 4.

Prep:
45
min
cook:
7
min
total:
50
min
Ingredients
  • 1 batch citrus cilantro dressing
  • 1 bunch kale, preferably Tuscan/Dino/Lacniato kale, destemmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 handfuls sugar snap peas, sliced on a bias (on an angle)
  • 1 small bunch radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 handful asparagus stems, woody ends removed and discarded, remaining stems sliced into bite-sized pieces 
  • Shredded rotisserie chicken, as much or as little as you want, skin removed and reserved
  • Crumbled sheep’s milk feta for serving
Instructions

Prep the salad

  1. Add kale to large mixing bowl. Reserve small handful of each: snap peas, radishes, and asparagus, set aside, you’ll use these to top the salad later.
  2. Toss kale with remaining snap peas, radishes, asparagus, and shredded rotisserie chicken in the cilantro citrus dressing, really massaging it into the kale.
  3. Let salad sit for 30 minutes.

Crisp the chicken

  1. If using, add chicken skin, skin side down into cold cast iron skillet. Turn heat to medium and cook for 5-7 minutes, flipping and pressing occasionally, until chicken skin is golden brown and crackly. Set aside.

Finish + serve

  1. Top salad with reserved snap peas, radishes, and asparagus. Add crumbled feta and crispy chicken skin, if using. Serve and enjoy.

Let's riff
  • The Kale: Sub in romaine but you'll want to eyeball how much dressing you add, as kale can handle an astronomical amount of dressing, while other greens need a lot less.
  • The Dressing: The dressing is full of cilantro but if it's not your thing, sub in a combo of basil, parsley, dill, and mint. Would be fab. Not going to lie the dressing requires you to whip out the blender and some nights I simply can't be bothered to do that. If you want something simple try my lemon shallot dijon vinaigrette.
  • The Spring Veg: Sub in blanched or roasted broccolini or whatever vegetable your heart does desiree.
  • The Chicken: Skip it if you want. Or add cooked chickpeas, white beans, or grains to round it out instead.
  • The Feta: Skip it to keep it dairy free, sub in goat cheese if you're feeling it.

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Annetta Merchant
May 20, 2024
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March 25, 2024
Ludie Key
March 23, 2024
Gini
March 20, 2024
Loved the soup. Croutons too much trouble. Fast in a cup!
Ray Beall
March 16, 2024
Richard
February 22, 2024
send me fruits to add with another fruit to cure disease
Deneen Medland
April 17, 2023
Kelle Trouton
April 17, 2023
Caroline
January 23, 2023
I made this same amazing salad with the following additions: I used a bed of chopped romaine hearts, and squeezed the juice of all the trimmed cara cara oranges, plus 1/2 lemon, added a drizzled of Tupelo honey on top. The herbs: chopped fennel fronds and mint. Everyone went crazy for it!
Marcus
YUM! Definitely going to pair this with a nice and funky natty white next time!
Caroline
January 23, 2023
I made this same amazing salad with the following additions: I used a bed of chopped romaine hearts, and squeezed the juice of all the trimmed cara cara oranges, plus 1/2 lemon, added a drizzled of Tupelo honey on top. The herbs: chopped fennel fronds and mint. Everyone went crazy for it!