{chicken salad} lunch in a melon bowl

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It’s been sunny and so perfectly “fallish” in the Mississippi River Valley this week. We’re still celebrating our 21st anniversary, and will be throughout the month. I thought this salad would be perfect for a romantic lunch on the front porch. Of course you can double or triple the recipe as needed to feed a bigger group. This salad would be the perfect addition to a tea party or ladies’ luncheon.

for two people:

for the salad ~

1 perfectly ripe cantaloupe

2 small, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cooled completely

1 celery rib, chopped small

2 green onions, sliced thin (including green tops)

1 cup green and/or red grapes, halved

1/3 cup unpeeled, tart apple, coarse chopped

Cut cantaloupe in half. Remove seeds and discard. Cut a thin piece off the bottom of each half so they sit on the plates without rolling around. Remove some of the melon from each half, using a sharp knife, and leaving a half inch wall of melon in the “bowl.”

Cut the completely cooked, completely cooled chicken into little bite-size cubes.

Cut the melon pieces that you removed into little pieces. Place them in a large mixing bowl, along with the chicken, celery, onions, grapes, and apple. Toss to combine. Set aside.

for the dressing ~

1/2 cup real mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons sour cream OR whole milk plain greek yogurt

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest

2 to 3 teaspoons honey

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

salt and pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, and whisk until smooth. Pour over salad ingredients in large mixing bowl, and gently toss so everything is coated evenly.

Scoop salad into melon bowls. Garnish with a little more sliced green onion, fresh parsley, fresh dill, or sliced almonds, if you wish.

Note: Feel free to add up to 1 cup of small, cooked, completely cooled pasta to the salad to bulk it up a bit.

Enjoy!

~Melissa

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