Warm Asparagus, Chicken and Toasted Bread Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette

From Jenni Neidhart, catering director at The Cookbook Co. Cooks.

2012 Jul/Aug



  • 2 c. chicken stock
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1/2 t. black peppercorns
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 loaf ciabatta bread, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 c. fresh peas
  • 1 c. toasted walnuts
  • 3 Belgian endive spears, washed and roughly chopped


  • 1 t. Dijon mustard
  • 1 T. sherry vinegar
  • 1 T. walnut oil
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • salt and pepper


Place the stock, garlic, peppercorns and salt into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the chicken, reduce the heat, and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Cover the pan and remove it from the heat. Allow the chicken to sit in the broth about 8 minutes, until just cooked through. Meanwhile, to make the walnut vinaigrette, place all the ingredients into a small bowl, whisk to combine well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes about 1/3 c.

Place the bread on an oven tray, drizzle with the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake at 375°F. for 15 minutes until crisp and golden.

Drain the chicken, tear it into large pieces, then place it into a bowl and toss it with 2 T. of the dressing. Cook the asparagus and peas, separately, in boiling salted water for 3 to 4 minutes, or until tender. Drain well and add to the chicken along with the toasted bread, the walnuts and the endive. Drizzle with the remaining dressing, toss gently to combine, and serve immediately with a tasty, toothsome bread.

Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side.