Grilled Chicken Salad With Oregon Blue Cheese and Grilled Pineapple

3 to 4 grilled and cooled chicken breasts, cut in 1/2-inch chunks to measure 4 cups
1 cup halved or coarsely chopped, lightly roasted and skinned hazelnuts
1 cup shredded extra-aged Gouda (I like Rembrandt brand)
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Oregon blue cheese
2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar (or rice vinegar)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 fresh pineapple (preferably, a super-sweet "Golden" variety)

In a medium bowl, combine the chicken breast, hazelnuts, shredded cheese, celery and onion. Mix well.

In a blender jar or food processor bowl, combine the mayonnaise, blue cheese, vinegar, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Blend until smooth. Scrape dressing from blender jar or food processor onto chicken mixture. With a spatula or wooden spoon gently stir until dressing is evenly distributed. Chill for at least 30 minutes for flavor to develop. May be prepared up to 24 hours ahead.

Meanwhile, prepare the pineapple. Grasping pineapple by its tuft of leaves, keep it upright as you trim away all tough, outer skin with wide, downward strokes, using a large sharp knife. Remove remaining "eyes."

Turn pineapple on its side and slice into 1/2-inch-thick rings. You could trim core from each slice, but I prefer to leave it in. It has a delicious flavor and slightly chewy texture that makes for an interesting contrast. Grill pineapple slices over medium-hot coals (or a gas burner), cooking on both sides until edges are golden-brown and slices are still juicy. Keep hot until ready to use (or, if grilled ahead, simply microwave to reheat before serving).

Spoon salad onto plates and arrange pineapple slices alongside. Makes 4 servings.


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