Serves 4 to 6
This recipe is a true taste of Palm Springs—literally! The creamy chicken salad is studded with tender hearts of palm and our medjool dates from date palms grown in the Coachella Valley. Julienned celery root and toasted walnuts add crunch while the lemony dressing keeps things bright. The mild combination of celery root and hearts of palm gives this recipe a slightly retro quality, but we keep things fresh and new by piling the salad on garlic-rubbed toasts and topping it with a peppery herb and radish salad. To make this recipe gluten-free, you can also serve the chicken salad on a bed of greens or in crisp butter lettuce cups.
- Four to six ½-inch thick slices peasant bread
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 Tablespoon Champagne or white wine vinegar
- Freshly grated zest of 1 small lemon, plus 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 3 cups shredded chicken
- 4 Rancho Meladuco Medjool dates, pitted and sliced crosswise into coins (see Note)
- 1 cup julienned celery root (about ½ small celery root)
- ½ cup thinly sliced hearts of palm
- ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts
- Fresh herbs, such as small dill sprigs, Italian parsley leaves and snipped chives, for garnish
- Thinly sliced radish, for garnish
- Lemon-infused olive oil or extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
Preheat the broiler to HIGH and position a rack 4-inches from the heat. Brush the sliced bread all over with the olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Broil the bread, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes. Let cool slightly, then rub with the garlic clove.
In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice and Dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, dates, celery root, hearts of palm and walnuts. Drizzle half of the dressing over the top and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Add more dressing, if desired.
Pile the chicken salad on the toasts and garnish generously with fresh herbs and thinly sliced radish. Drizzle with the lemon-infused olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve right away.
NOTE: To cut your dates into coins, remove the pit from the top of the date with pliers or strong tweezers. Check out the Rancho Meladuco Instagram page for a quick video tutorial on how to do this.
Recipe and photo by Julia Heffelfinger @juliaheff