Chicken Shawarma Salad

Chicken shawarma is fragrantly seasoned way to prepare chicken that's often found in kebabs, wraps, and other Middle Eastern dishes. But given the time of the year and the fact that we can almost see the end of winter just around the corner, I'm opting to feature it in a beautiful salad that will have us feeding some of our cravings for fresh food while also recognizing that winter isn't quite over yet.

Packed with a blend of fresh and roasted ingredients, this salad keeps your tastebuds from getting sleepy with everything from fresh cucumbers and greens to roasted sweet potatoes and radishes while helping to make it "pop" with kalamata olives and an earthy dressing featuring tahini, maple syrup, and olive oil. As is often the case with dishes featuring a Middle Eastern influence, the combination of spices in the seasoning is where it's at. Fragrant, hearty flavors wrap a salad in a bit of a blanket as a reminder that, while we're all looking forward to warmer weather, winter isn't quite done with us yet.

This is a meal on its own. If you opt for anything alongside it, make it pita or naan bread for dipping into that hummus and for sopping up any leftover dressing or juices from the roasted chicken and vegetables that might remain on your plate. Yes, you won't want to let any of that go uneaten!

Chicken Shawarma Salad

  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 beauty heart radish, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 sweet mini peppers, cored and sliced in half
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 4 T. olive oil, divided
  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 10 oz. mixed greens
  • ½ English cucumber, halved and sliced
  • Handful kalamata olives
  • ½ c. hummus
  • ¼ c. tahini sauce
  • 1 T. maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Place the sweet potato, radish, and mini peppers in a resealable plastic bag and add the paprika, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Seal and shake to thoroughly coat. Pour the contents of the bag into a 9x13 inch baking pan. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, rub the chicken breast with the coriander, cumin, cardamom, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet and sauté the chicken breast for 3 minutes on both sides. Remove from the pan and when the vegetables have been in the oven for 20 minutes, carefully remove them, stir them, and make a space at the center of the baking pan and place the chicken breast there. Continue roasting the contents of the pan for another 15 minutes.

While the chicken and vegetables are roasting, assemble the serving plates and the dressing. Divide and arrange the greens, cucumber, olives, and hummus on two serving plates. In a small resealable bottle, combine the tahini sauce, maple syrup, and remaining one tablespoon of olive oil. Seal the jar and shake vigorously to combine. Set aside.

When the chicken and vegetables are done roasting, remove them from the oven and slice the chicken into strips. Arrange the roasted vegetables and chicken strips on the two serving plates and drizzle everything generously with the dressing. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes