I love chicken salad, especially with grapes, it's one of my favorite summer meals from childhood. It reminds me of harvest, dusty and hot. It is a cool respite to pull a cold chicken salad sandwich out of the cooler, sitting on the hot vinyl seat of a grain truck with a hot wind whipping over the stubble.

Weather on the Palouse has been sweltering. Yesterday was over 100ยบ and the first combines started cutting grain. It's chicken salad weather, neither Katie or I could stomach a hot dinner. As it turns out, adding a bit of black garlic makes chicken salad amazing! You end up with the same awesome salad with these bursts of complex, sweet-tangy, umami flavor as you eat.

Black garlic is garlic that has been slow cooked for an extremely long time while still in the head. It isn't fermented, as is often claimed, and is a pretty recent invention. Like roasting, it takes away the intense garlic flavor. Unlike roasted garlic, black garlic is sweet and a bit tangy with the 'garlic' taste coming at the tail end. It's extremely mild and almost more like dried fruit. We had a head sitting around that I bought to experiment with about a month ago. I figured it was time to get rid of it and I was making chicken salad but didn't have anything sweet or tangy to kick it up a notch. It turns out black garlic makes an incredible addition to chicken salad.

I won't be posting measurements with my recipes on here (I rarely measure anyway) but here is what I put in the chicken salad we made. Mix it up and put it on a bed of the lettuce.

  • Head of black garlic
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Fresh shelled peas from our garden
  • The remains of a rotisserie chicken 
  • Romain lettuce from the garden
  • Sir Kensingtons mayonaise (which has some mustard in it, so if you use regular mayo you might want to add a touch of mustard)