Chicken and Pear Salad with Herbal Balsamic Vinaigrette

Kitchen Table

| April/May 1996

Serves 2
Serve this unusual salad warm or at room temperature with crusty bread and an herb butter.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 boneless chicken breast halves, flattened
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 2 ripe Bartlett pears
  • A variety of fresh lettuces, such as red leaf and Buttercrunch
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves


  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
  1. In a skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the chicken breasts, garlic, and leeks, and cook until the chicken is brown and the juices run clear when the meat is pierced with a fork. Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool slightly, and reserve the leeks.
  2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside.
  3. Peel, halve and core the pears. Lightly poach the pear halves in simmering water 4 to 5 minutes, or until just tender. Run cold water over them to cool.
  4. Thinly slice the chicken breasts. Arrange the lettuce on two salad plates. Top with the poached pears, chicken slices and leeks. Sprinkle with the walnut halves and serve with the herb dressing.

—Nancy Crabb, Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania 

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