Walnut-Dill Chicken Salad

Walnut-Dill Chicken Salad

To all of you food lovers and gardeners out there who enjoy a pretty plate and yard, this is one of the best tips I’ve ever received: Plant nasturtium seeds. A green thumb, patience, full sun or even a yard is not a requisite for having edible, lovely garnishes from early summer into fall. I sowed various varieties of nasturtiums in pots, planters and into the ground last April. By late May the profusion of colorful flowers began and will remain in full throttle through October. That’s five months of beautiful flowers and edible garnishes.

Packages of nasturtium seeds run about $2.00-$3.49 each. This year I planted about 8 packages and the charming flowers are everywhere. It’s so easy to plant them from seeds, and perfect for a children’s garden as the results can be observed within a month. Nasturtiums have a peppery, radish-like flavor and are a wonderful addition to salads.

This chicken salad exudes easy elegance. Though mayonnaise-based, it’s lightly dressed and the subtle flavor of earthy walnut reminds me that fall is in the air. Some girlfriends are coming for dinner (Richard is banished from the house), and I’m serving this salad with crunchy baguettes, nectarines, locally made Boulevard triple cream cheese and creamy Zingerman’s goat cheese. Both of these cheeses are available for purchase at the Farmers Market. I always serve cheese at room temperature, removing it from the fridge several hours before serving.

Don’t fret if you aren’t growing nasturtiums. Serve the salad atop red leaf lettuce and the plate will be lovely. (I’ll remind you next April to purchase your nasturtium seeds!)

Recipe: Walnut-Dill Chicken Salad


  • 3-4 poached chicken breast halves*
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, preferably homemade or Hellman’s
  • 2 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • Fresh nasturtium leaves and blossoms or red leaf lettuce, both optional
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted


  1. To make the dressing, whisk together mayonnaise, walnut oil, lemon juice, shallot and dill.
  2. Slice chicken breasts into 1/4-inch diagonal strips, against the grain. Gently toss sliced chicken with the dressing. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
  3. Line nasturtium leaves or leaf lettuce on the bottom of a platter or individual plates, if desired. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts or pecans and serve

* See August 11 Old-Fashioned Chicken Salad dinnerFeed for tips on poaching perfect chicken breasts.

Time: (using prepared poached chicken breasts)15 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 4

Copyright © Peggy Lampman’s dinnerFeed.

More Recipes Filed Under "Chicken salads"

23 Responses to Walnut-Dill Chicken Salad

  1. Victor says:

    yes, sadly that’s the truth! i don’t eat salads that much, but when i eat out i often eat much less than i relaly do at home. which means if we stay at home less often we won’t give in to temptations and we might lose some weight!

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