This salad is a wonderful way to indulge in the arrival of fresh apricot season.
Fresh apricot season is relatively short, from May to June depending on the harvest conditions. Fresh apricots should be kept cool to prevent over ripening. Avoid green apricots which will not ripen. If you simply cannot wait for fresh apricot season, rehydrated dried apricots make a fine substitute in this recipe.
For the Dressing
2 apricots cut into quarters
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
For the Salad
¼ lb fusilli (corkscrew) pasta
6 fresh apricots cut into quarters
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 red bell pepper cut into long thin strips
2 small zucchini ends trimmed, cut in half then into thin strips
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 cup apricot basil dressing
Combine the apricots, white wine vinegar, salt and sugar in a blender. Whirl until well blended. With the blender running, slowly add the olive oil until thick and smooth. Stir in the fresh basil. Makes 1 cup.
Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add both chicken breasts. Cover the pan and continue simmering until the chicken is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the broth. Allow to cool slightly, then shred it into bite sized pieces using a fork.
Cook the pasta as its package directs; drain and let cool. Combine the pasta, apricots, chicken, zucchini, red pepper and basil in a large bowl. Toss lightly with the dressing.
Per serving: 360 calories, 15 g fat, 2.5 g sat fat, 36 g carbohydrates, 11 g protein, 230 mg sodium, 4 g fiber.