I've been increasingly into making entree salads rather than just side salads, and this one fits the bill perfectly. Roasting the apples and asparagus means you don't have to have perfectly fresh produce (this is a great "using up things in the kitchen" recipe), and it also gives them a deeper, more caramelized flavor. You can really substitute any favorite fruit-veggie combo here - pears would be a good apple substitute, for instance, or green beans for the asparagus. Paired with greens, chicken, and a simple dressing, this salad makes a great lunch or dinner. I top it with a bit of blue cheese for extra tang.
Roasted Apple and Asparagus Salad with Chicken
7-8 spears asparagus
1 apple, peeled and cubed
1 chicken breast, pounded 1/2-inch thick
Salt and pepper
4 cups baby greens
1/4 cup champagne vinaigrette, or any other favorite salad dressing
1 ounce blue cheese, crumbled
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the asparagus and apple with olive oil, and spread on a foil-lined baking sheet in one even layer. Roast until tender.
2. Meanwhile, spray a nonstick skillet with oil and heat over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and then cook in the skillet until nicely browned and cooked through.
3. Cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces, and cube the chicken. Toss the asparagus and chicken with the apple, baby greens, and vinaigrette. Divide among two plates and top with crumbled blue cheese.