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Chicken and Asparagus Salad Sandwiches

Chicken and Asparagus Salad Sandwiches
3 votes, 4.67 avg. rating (89% score)
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I recently received a lovely new cookbook, To Cook is to Love, published by Boston chef John Verlinden. Equal parts memoir and cookbook, it tells the story of Verlinden’s mother-in-law, Aida Luisa Gonzalez de Mondejar, who first immigrated to the United States in 1954 and whose excellent home cooking inspired him to learn the whole range of Latin ingredients and Cuban food. His style is Nuevo Cuban, a lighter, healthier take on the classics, and he scatters the book’s 200 recipes—papaya milk shake, black bean soup, caramel ice cream, empanadas, ropa vieja—among Aida’s recollections of growing up on a farm, escaping Castro’s regime with her children, and forging a life in America as a single mother with two children. Through all her struggles, her love of cooking is a constant. It’s an inspiring story, a classic American tale, and the food is tantalizing. Many of the recipes will be familiar to anyone who ever visited Mucho Gusto, the cafe that Verlinden ran with his husband (and Aida’s son), Ozzie, and Aida from 1995-2000.

Choosing a single recipe to share with you was tricky, but I landed on some simple chicken and asparagus tea sandwiches. It must be a reaction to all that hearty food that sustains us through winter, but for me, May always brings a craving for delicate things.

Verlinden presents this salad as part of a large stacked sandwich loaf (cream cheese frosting optional), but I find that they stand on their own.

Chicken and asparagus tea sandwiches
Photo/Art by Amy Traverso
Chicken and asparagus tea sandwiches

Chicken and Asparagus Salad Sandwiches

I love the crunch and sweetness that the chopped asparagus adds to the salad. For extra zing, add a teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.

Total time: 15 minutes

Hands-on time: 15 minutes

Makes: Filling for about 30 tea sandwiches



  • 2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken (one standard rotisserie chicken should yield just enough white meat)
  • 1/2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 4 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup nonfat yogurt
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine the ingredients in a bowl and stir well. If possible, let the salad chill for an hour or two before serving to let the flavors combine. Spread between layers of white or whole wheat sandwich bread and trim crusts or use biscuit or cookie cutters to cut them into fun shapes.

Amy Traverso


Amy Traverso


Senior lifestyle editor Amy Traverso oversees Yankee's Food and Home & Garden departments and contributes articles to the magazine. Amy book, The Apple Lover's Cookbook (W.W. Norton), won an International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) cookbook award for the category American. Follow !
Updated Thursday, May 15th, 2014

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