Champagne Tarragon Salad with Chicken and Toasted Almonds

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Last night I dreamed of tarragon again.  Really.  But I also just finished reading Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, so in my mind tarragon and Manderley are intertwined and together they inspired my new favorite salad. I only wish I were eating it beneath the chestnut tree by the sea.

Tarragon is the star of this recipe with its brilliantly aromatic leaves that are faintly reminiscent of anise.  The second star of this recipe is champagne vinegar.  It’s milder and lighter than wine vinegar or sherry vinegar.  It is not as sweet as balsamic.  It pairs very well with this light but filling salad.  The third of this all-star cast are the slivered and toasted almonds.  Watch them carefully because it is very easy to burn them.  You want them to be lightly golden and aromatic.

This salad will stand alone as a meal with a good, crusty multigrain baguette without leaving you overfed and over filled.


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