I had this great chicken pasta salad at one of our weekly potlucks this summer, and never got around to making it myself. But since the temps around here climbed back into the upper 80s again today, I really didn’t feel like heating up the kitchen with dinner, and this worked out nicely.
CHICKEN PASTA SALAD WITH MELON & MINT
2 boneless chicken breasts poached in chicken broth (maybe in cooler temps – we grilled ours tonight)
1 pound bow tie pasta
1 medium ripe cantaloupe or honey dew (honey dew is not my favorite, but we’ve had one sitting on the counter for a week that was purchased in error, so I guess it was serendipity)
1 8oz pkg swiss cheese
1 bottle poppy seed dressing
Cook chicken breast, chill and then shred with two forks. Cook pasta according to directions – place in ice water bath to stop cooking. Cube swiss cheese into small, bite-sized chunks. Cut melon into cubes or use a melon baller. Mix pasta, chicken, cheese, mint and some dressing – chill for 12-24 hours. Before serving, add melon and additional dressing to coat.
I didn’t take a photo tonight before the gang gobbled the salad down, but here it is from the first time I had it, and I believe that’s cantaloupe in there. Next time I make it, I’ll opt for cantaloupe as well, but that’s just my personal preference. The true surprise in this dish is the mint. When it was first described to me, I was skeptical. But just like I always tell the kids not to pass judgment on food without trying it, I’m glad that I did, and the blend of flavors has won me over.0