Nectarine Salad with Seared Chicken & Carrot Ginger Dressing

nectarine-salad-3

I’m kind of obsessed with the orange dressing at Japanese restaurants.

I will always want the salad, despite the fact that they’re charging $5 for no more than iceberg lettuce, a few carrot sticks, and maybe a couple of cherry tomatoes thrown on top. I’m essentially paying five bucks for orange dressing.

Fresh Radishes by thewoksoflife.com

So I’m sitting there, enjoying my bright orange dressing, and I’m thinking…what is this? There must be some kind of unnatural chemical processing thing going on–some Red #40 and Yellow #5–to make this dressing so orange. And so good.

Well, imagine my surprise when Kaitlin tells me that she made this carrot ginger dressing the other day, and that it was DELICIOUS. I’m like, “Carrot Ginger dressing, really?”

And she goes, “yeah, like the kind you get at the sushi restaurants.”

whaaat-i-dont-even

Carrots. That’s the secret to the neon orange in my neon orange dressing.

Nature is glorious.

I immediately decided to make it at home, and after some research and a quick tweaking of recipes (the base I used was Chef Tadashi Ono’s recipe featured here on Saveur), I have achieved my perfect Carrot Ginger dressing. But the best part is…I get to choose the vehicle. No more limp iceberg. A nectarine salad is the rule of the day.

This nectarine salad is summer on a plate–ripe nectarines, crunchy summer radishes, sweet corn, basil, and mint. We definitely eat a lot more seasonally in Beijing, where the growing season really does directly affect what we see at the local market.

Make it, and enjoy a perfect, healthy sunny afternoon lunch.

Nectarine Salad with Seared Chicken & Carrot Ginger Dressing by thewoksoflife.com

You’ll need:

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • tiny dash of sesame oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped onion
  • salt and pepper, to taste

For the salad:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Assorted lettuce
  • 2 ears steamed sweet corn, kernels removed from the cob
  • 1 bunch radishes, sliced thinly
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 nectarines, sliced
  • a handful of fresh basil, torn
  • a handful of mint, torn
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts

 

Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a food processor and pulsing until smooth.

Carrot Ginger Dressing by thewoksoflife.com

Pat the chicken breasts dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides.

Chicken Breast

Sear them in a hot pan drizzled with olive oil until cooked through. Slice the chicken.

Seared chicken breast by thewoksoflife.com

Toss together the lettuces, corn, radishes, red onion, and nectarines in a large serving bowl. Top with the sliced chicken, basil leaves, and toasted walnuts, and drizzle with your dressing.

Nectarine Salad with Seared Chicken & Carrot Ginger Dressing by thewoksoflife.com

Nectarine Salad with Seared Chicken & Carrot Ginger Dressing by thewoksoflife.com

You can also toss the lettuce in the dressing first, and then throw all the toppings over the salad.

Nectarine Salad with Seared Chicken & Carrot Ginger Dressing by thewoksoflife.com

Some really bright flavors going on here. Live it and love it, people!

Nectarine Salad with Seared Chicken & Carrot Ginger Dressing by thewoksoflife.com

Until next time…

Nectarine Salad with Seared Chicken & Carrot Ginger Dressing by thewoksoflife.com

 

 

Nectarine Salad with Seared Chicken & Carrot Ginger Dressing

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Nectarine Salad with Seared Chicken & Carrot Ginger Dressing

Ingredients

For the dressing:
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
tiny dash of sesame oil
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
¼ cup roughly chopped onion
salt and pepper, to taste
For the salad:
2 chicken breasts
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil
Assorted lettuce
2 ears steamed sweet corn, kernels removed from the cob
1 bunch radishes, sliced thinly
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
4 nectarines, sliced
a handful of fresh basil, torn
a handful of mint, torn
1 cup toasted walnuts

Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients in a food processor and pulsing until smooth.

Pat the chicken breasts dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear them in a hot pan drizzled with olive oil until cooked through. Slice the chicken.

Toss together the lettuces, corn, radishes, red onion, and nectarines in a large serving bowl. Top with the sliced chicken, basil leaves, and toasted walnuts, and drizzle with your dressing.

http://thewoksoflife.com/2014/06/nectarine-salad-seared-chicken-carrot-ginger-dressing/

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Comments

  1. says

    Looks ands sounds great to me…I would perhaps use pecans though. The dressing looks thick? Instead of using the carrot raw next time..Perhaps try roasting a few in the oven first? I’m wondering if that might help to intensify the flavour and maybe thin out the dressing a tiny bit? Hmm going to give this a try too! All your recipes so appeal to my taste buds and are so different! Love that!

    • says

      Hey Phyllis, interesting idea to cook the carrots first! Would be cool to try. The raw carrot gives the dressing a really bright, fresh flavor though. To thin it out more, you can add a bit more vinegar, olive oil, or just a tablespoon or two of water. I just went for the texture I look for at these Japanese restaurants, where the dressing is quite thick. : )

      Oh, and I LOVE pecans. Totally on board with that.

    • says

      You won’t regret it! This dressing is one of my favorites! Plus it’s the time of year when the nectarines are juuuust hittin’ their stride ;)

  2. Rachel says

    This salad is seriously my new favorite thing. I left out the nuts (we’re a nut allergy house), and it was so good. I’m not even a salad person, but now I’m a convert. Thanks!

    • says

      So glad you enjoyed it, Rachel. The dressing really keeps! The first time I made it, I was surprised how well it stayed fresh at the back of the fridge. Cheers to salad!

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