Finding comforting ways to use fresh, seasonal ingredients is one of my favorite things about cooking; it’s a wonderful challenge!
And the more simple a recipe is, the more one can really taste the flavor of those seasonal ingredients, and find the joy and simple pleasure in them.
Honeycrisp apples, just as their name implies, are incredibly crisp, sweet and juicy—they embody that wonderfully fruity and earthy flavor of fall, and brighten up so very many recipes that call for the autumn-centered fruit.
And they’re perfect when combined with lightly toasted and candied walnuts, which offer a warm, nutty crunch and meaty texture under tooth. The two together are a lovely pair for adding into a cool and creamy chicken salad, and can turn that simple salad into an irresistible offering, one that simply begs to be spooned and piled high upon toasted, buttery brioche bread.
There’s often still a bit of warmth in the autumn, and a sweet little bit of sun that makes the temperatures golden; and a light and fresh chicken salad blended with a hint of mayo, some fresh herbs and those mouthwatering flavors of fresh apples and walnuts is a perfect little salad to turn into a sandwich to nibble on for brunch, or in the afternoon when something cool and creamy is craved.
It’s a scrumptious and autumn-y take on a classic chicken salad, one wonderfully fit to share and indulge in when a soul longs for a bit of uncomplicated comfort.
So with all of the bursting and full flavors that this season has to offer, may they be put to uniquely good use to satisfy our cravings for coziness and sweet-savory bites; and may the light of the autumn fall golden and lazily over your afternoons, so that each taste of good food may be an inspired one.
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Autumn Chicken Salad with Honeycrisp Apples and Candied Walnuts on Buttery Brioche Toast
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves about 2-4
• 6 chicken tenderloins (or 2 smaller skinless, boneless chicken breasts), cooked and cooled, then diced
• ¼ cup mayonnaise
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon chopped, flat-leaf parsley
• 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
• 1/3 cup candied walnuts, roughy chopped
• 1 small honeycrisp apple, unpeeled and diced finely
• Pinch salt
• Pinch black pepper
• 1 teaspoon honey
• 4-8 slices of brioche bread, toasted
• Lettuce or greens
-Add the chicken and the rest of the ingredients up to and including the honey to a medium-large bowl, and toss gently to combine well; set aside, or keep covered in the fridge if preparing ahead.
-Add a leaf or two of your favorite type of greens to the bottom piece of toasted brioche bread, then add a generous amount of the chicken salad over the greens, topping with another piece of toasted brioche bread, and serve with chips, a salad or fresh fruit.