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Dinner tonight! Salad with chicken, goat cheese and pecans

October 10, 2012|By Noelle Carter
  • Pecans and goat cheese add texture and flavor to chicken, spinach, arugula and dandelion greens.
Pecans and goat cheese add texture and flavor to chicken, spinach, arugula… (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles…)

Sometimes you just can't get any simpler than a salad for dinner. Take some greens, add a little of this or that, and get creative. You can pick up a few ingredients, like a roast chicken, from the store, or find ways to use the leftovers in the fridge. For a quick dinner salad that's saved me on many a weeknight, check out this recipe for mixed greens with chicken, goat cheese and pecans.

For more quick-fix dinner ideas, check out our video recipe gallery here. Parsons and Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter show you how to fix a dozen dishes in an hour or less.

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You can find Noelle Carter on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest. Email Noelle at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

Mixed greens with chicken, goat cheese and pecans

Total time: 25 minutes

Servings: 8

1 cup pecans

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Salt

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

4 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Freshly ground black pepper

1 prepared rotisserie chicken, warm or at room temperature

9 cups loosely packed spinach

6 cups arugula

3 cups torn dandelion greens

1/2 red onion, sliced lengthwise into very thin strips

1 cup brined olives, such as ni├žoise or kalamata

1/3 cup capers

1/2 pound fresh goat cheese

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the pecans with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Spread the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 10 to 14 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.

2. While the nuts are toasting, prepare the dressing: In a medium bowl, place the remaining one-half cup oil. Whisk in the sherry vinegar, then the mustard. Whisk in the thyme, oregano, one-half teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Taste and adjust as desired. This makes about 1 cup vinaigrette.

3. Remove the legs and breasts from the chicken. Chop the chicken into coarse cubes and set aside.

4. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, arugula and dandelion greens. Toss in the red onion, olives and capers, then dress with one-half cup of dressing. Toss the salad, adding additional dressing as desired. Toss in the cubed chicken.

5. Divide the salad between 4 plates. Crumble the goat cheese in large chunks over the salads, then sprinkle over the pecans. Serve immediately.

Each of 8 servings: 469 calories; 30 grams protein; 7 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 37 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 81 mg. cholesterol; 697 mg. sodium.

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