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Summer Solstice Strawberry Balsamic Chicken Salad

June 22, 2011

Yesterday was the longest day of the year, but despite all that extra daytime, I felt like being lazy and making a real quick salad dinner. Also, we’re leaving town for a few days coming up (expect a drool-worthy post on New Mexico green chile cheeseburgers next week), so I wanted to use up some of the produce in the fridge.

I bought one of the marinated chicken breasts our awesome little local grocery store sells.  Don’t get me wrong, I love making my own marinades, but sometimes it’s just easier to pick up on of these – they do really creative mixes I would never think of.  The “Cyclops” Greek marinade is our favorite, but to go with this salad I got the Door County Cherry variety.

The salad itself could not be simpler, and you really can use whatever fruit you want – this is one of those salads you make to use up stuff in your fridge:

  • 1 head green leaf lettuce (or whatever greenery you want – spinach would be great too, but I was just using stuff up)
  • 8-12 strawberries (use however many you want really – again, using up what’s in my fridge)
  • 1-2 handfuls of blueberries
  • 2-3 nectarines, cut into bite-size chunks
  • 3 ounces mozzarella cheese, diced (I used marinated mozzarella balls we already had)
  • a few leaves of basil, sliced into little ribbons
  • Vinaigrette: equal parts balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste

Toss all the salad ingredients together, reserving some of the dressing (so the salad at this point should be slightly under-dressed for your tastes)

Grill the chicken, either outside or in a grill pan on the stove.  When done, cut into slices.  Arrange salad on your plates, put chicken on top, and drizzle more of the vinaigrette over the whole thing.  We had some Chopped Garlic bread on the side too, since its hard for us to be fully satisfied with a meal unless there’s a starch and some garlic.  We had Rosé wine with it – which I’m going to post separately about…

Enjoy!

“Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough briar,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon’s sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green.
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats, spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In their freckles live our savours.
I must go seek some dew-drops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.
Farewell, thou lob of spirits, I’ll be gone;
My queen and all her elves come here anon!”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act II Scene I

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