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Chicken, Wild Rice and Pecan Salad in Romaine Spears

6 cups chicken broth
8 ounces wild rice
2½ pounds chicken; roasted, skinned and boned, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper; chopped
2 bunches arugula; chopped
¼ cup green onions; chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sesame oil
2 cups Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces; toasted
3 heads romaine lettuce

1. Bring chicken broth to a boil in medium saucepan. Add rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until just tender, about 50 minutes. Drain well. Transfer the rice to a large bowl.
2. Mix in chicken, bell pepper, arugula and green onions. Set aside.
3. In another bowl mix soy sauce, vinegar and oil. Pour over salad and mix to coat. Season with sea salt and pepper. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)
4. Mix nuts into salad. Place salad in center of platter.
5. Reserve outer romaine leaves for another use. Arrange inner leaves on platter around salad.

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Creamy Pesto Filled Chicken Rolls

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 2 pounds total)
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ of an 8-ounce tub cream cheese with chive and onion
½ cup Texas Basil Pesto
2 ounces proscuitto, chopped
⅓ cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces
1 tablespoon butter; melted
6 cups baby spinach leaves
3 tablespoons Parmesan Italian salad dressing with basil or Italian salad dressing

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Lightly coat a 13-inch-by-9-inch-by-2-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Place a chicken breast half between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound chicken to about ⅛ inch thick. Remove plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining chicken breast halves. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
3. In a small bowl stir together cream cheese Texas Basil Pesto and proscuitto. Place about 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture in the center of each chicken breast. Fold in bottom and sides and roll up. Secure with toothpicks. Combine bread crumbs and chopped pecans. Brush chicken with butter and roll in the bread crumb mixture. Place seam sides down in prepared pan.
4. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (170ºF). To serve, toss spinach leaves with the dressing. Divide evenly among 6 plates; top each with a chicken roll.

Makes 6 servings

Texas Basil Pesto
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1½ cups fresh baby spinach; stems removed
¾ cups fresh basil leaves
½ cup Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces
6 ounces Asiago cheese, grated
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and quartered

To Prepare In a Food Processor

1. Combine 2 tablespoons of the oil, the spinach, basil, pecans, cheese and garlic. Cover and process until nearly smooth, stopping processor and scrapping sides as necessary.
2. Drizzle in remaining olive oil until mixture is smooth.

To Prepare In a Blender

1. Coarsely chop spinach, basil, pecans and garlic on a cutting board, in a blender combine all ingredients.
2. Cover and blend until mixture is smooth.

To Store

Place pesto in an airtight container. Cover and refrigerate for 1 or 2 days of freeze up to 1 month.

Makes about 1¾ cups

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Pecan Cheese Salad

2 tablespoon Knox gelatin
¼ cup cold water
1 large pineapple in chunks; drained (reserve ½ cup juice)
1 cup celery; sliced thin
1 cup Pecan Valley Pecan Pieces
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup whipped cream
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sugar
1 cup mini marshmallows
Juice of 1 lemon

1. Dissolve Knox gelatin in cold water. Add ½ cup pineapple juice which has been heated.
2. In a large mixing bowl mix pineapple chunks, celery, pecans, cottage cheese, whipped cream, sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, marshmallows and lemon juice together.
3. Add gelatin mixture. Mix well. Pour into container of choice. Chill until set.

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Rice, Orange and Pecan Salad

3 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup orange juice
1 cup orange sections or canned mandarin orange sections
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon Pecan Valley Pecan Halves; toasted
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a large mixing bowl toss rice, orange juice, orange sections, raisins, vinegar, olive oil, pecans.
2. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.

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Wild Pecan Rice Salad with Chicken

1½ cups cooked chicken; skinned, boned, meat cut into cubes
7 ounce wild pecan rice; cooked according to package instructions and cooled
3 ounce Pecan Valley Pecan Halves; lightly toasted
1½ cup thinly sliced scallions, including most of the green parts
12 cherry tomatoes; split
2 large ripe avocados; peeled and cubed
1½ cup cooked or canned chick peas – drained
1 large garlic clove; peeled
⅓ cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ cup sesame oil
¼ cup vegetable oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, rice, pecans, scallions, tomatoes and avocados.
2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel chopping blade, combine the chick peas, garlic, vinegar and soy sauce, and process into a smooth paste. With the motor running, pour the sesame and vegetable oils through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream. The vinaigrette will be creamy and thick.
3. Pour over the salad, toss and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss again and serve.

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