As much as I love the beginning of every season, there is none more exciting for me than the start of summer. It’s so full of leisurely promise: spending as much time as possible out of doors, whether it’s picnicking, hiking or lazy tubing in a lake; sunny days that give way to balmy evenings, and that amazing summer light that slowly drains from the sky; camping and campfires; cold, sparkling beverages of all stripes; and of course, summer produce.
While this salad wrap may not exactly highlight the peak of summer produce – its star seasonal ingredient is the demure, early summer apricot, after all – it has everything to do with the kind of outdoor culture that does reach its peak in summer. And if you haven’t noticed, I have a thing for food that’s secretly healthy. Here, the classic chicken salad gets a little messed with: where you would typically find absurd amounts mayonnaise or sour cream, there is only yogurt. And because of the apricots, paprika, cinnamon, chipotle and cumin, there’s enough flavor going on that mayonnaise will be the last thing on your mind when chowing down. Make a bunch of wraps or sandwiches in the morning, pack ’em in your cooler, and get yourself to some grassy knoll or sandy beach.
MOROCCAN CHICKEN + APRICOT SALAD
Serves about 6
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
3 cups shredded roast chicken
3-4 apricots, sliced lengthwise
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup diced celery
1/3 cup diced green onions
lots of sea salt + freshly cracked black pepper
Whole wheat tortillas or sliced bread; can also be served on a bed of greens
In a large mixing bowl, combine the yogurt with the paprika, cumin, cinnamon and chipotle. Add the chicken, apricots, almonds, celery and green onion and mix. Finish with lots of cracked black pepper and sea salt to taste.
Spread this on a sandwich or in a tortilla, or mix it up with some arugula or romaine lettuce.