Chicken and Spinach Salad with Pear Turnovers
- Yield 6 servings
A spicy, flavorful chicken salad tops pears baked in crispy phyllo crust.
- 3 large pears, peeled and halved
- 1 package phyllo dough sheets
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 14 -- 16 ounce cooled grilled/cooked chicken breast*
- 3 cups moderately packed baby spinach leaves
- 1/3 cup chopped roasted red pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus leaves for garnish
- 3 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- 1/2 cup Passion Fruit Juice (juice drink)
- 3 tablespoons minced red onion
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 dash cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 tablespoons light olive oil
- Heat oven to 350F.
- Scoop out the core/center of each pear half. Unroll the dough (if necessary, press perforated edges together). Cut into 6 rectangles. Place a pear half on each and wrap the dough up the sides and ends, creating a rimmed crust around edge of each pear. Mix butter and garlic and brush over the outside of dough and over top surface of pear. Place on large, non-stick baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
- Toast pecans about 5 minutes in oven on a baking sheet; cool.
- Cut chicken into small dice. Chop spinach and mix with chicken in bowl. Add pecans, red pepper, basil, and blue cheese. Mix well. Whisk together juice, onion, vinegar, salt, mustard, cayenne, and olive oil. Pour over chicken mixture. Top warm pears with cold salad, drizzling any remaining dressing over tops. Garnish with basil and serve immediately.
*Purchased fully-cooked grilled chicken (strips, chunks, etc) works very well, but you can also use leftover home cooked or grilled chicken.