1/4 cup red or white-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons lightly toasted sesame seeds,
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon, minced sweet onion, divided
1/3 cup vegetable oil, such as canola
4 skinned and boned chicken-breast halves, grilled and cooled
6 cups of salad greens (preferably half romaine and half baby arugula leaves), plus more for plating presentation
2 Roma (Italian plum) tomatoes, cored and diced
2 ripe Haas avocados, peeled, seeded and diced
1 cup Sugar-Glazed Hazelnuts (recipe follows)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 ripe pears, cored and sliced, for garnish
Tomato wedges, for garnish
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced, for garnish
In a blender or food processor, combine the vinegar, sugar, sesame and poppy seeds, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt and the 1 tablespoon minced onion. Blend until most sesame seeds are ground (stop motor several times and scrape down sides of container). Scrape contents into a small bowl, then whisk in the vegetable oil in a slow, steady stream. This makes 3/4 cup.
Cut the cooked and cooled chicken into 1/4-inch pieces and combine with 1/2 cup vinaigrette, the salad greens, diced tomatoes, avocado, sugar-glazed hazelnuts and 1/4 cup minced onion. Add more vinaigrette as necessary to reach desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, arrange additional salad greens on 4 plates, then divide salad mixture between them. Garnish with the pear slices, tomato wedges and sliced egg. Makes 4 main-dish servings.
SUGAR-GLAZED HAZELNUTS: Place a sheet of waxed paper on countertop. In a nonstick skillet, warm 1 cup coarsely chopped, lightly roasted and skinned hazelnuts over medium-high heat. Sprinkle on about 2 tablespoons sugar, stirring continuously with either a silicone spatula or flat-sided wooden spoon; cook until sugar melts around hazelnuts. Sprinkle on more sugar as necessary to glaze all hazelnut pieces. Remove from heat and quickly scrape hazelnuts onto sheet of waxed paper to cool.