Friday, May 17, 2013

Berry Chicken Salad with Arugula and Basil

This was another one of those dinners on the fly.  It was getting late, everyone was getting hungry, it was hot and I didn't want to heat up the house.  So, I actually came up with it right before I had to whip it up and feed my family before they all starved to death!  I had just picked up a bunch of fresh berries and thought they would go perfect in a chicken salad.  The rest just came to me as I put it together.  Luckily it all worked out and the salad was mouthwatering!

This salad will be perfect for spring and summer, definitely going to find it's place into the dinner rotation.  And who doesn't love dinner done in under 20 minutes?

Berry Chicken Salad with Arugula and Basil

for the salad:
2-3 chicken breasts, butterflied
1/2 head of romaine lettuce, chopped and washed
3 oz. arugula (3-4 big handfuls)
1/2 lb. strawberries, hulled, rinsed and sliced
small clam shell fresh blueberries
small clam shell fresh raspberries
thinly sliced red onion (some like more, I like less, so however much you want)
handful of large basil leaves, about half a cup, chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

for the dressing:
1/4 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (really versatile though; you can use red wine vinegar, rice or white wine vinegar or even fresh lemon juice)
2 Tbsp. good quality strawberry jam (I prefer homemade freezer jam)
pinch of salt
a few good cracks of black pepper; about 1/4 tsp.

Preheat outdoor grill or indoor grill pan.  Drizzle chicken with olive oil and liberally salt and pepper.  Cook chicken until no longer pink.  Allow to cool and chop into bite-size pieces.

In a large salad bowl, gently toss salad ingredients together.  Whisk dressing ingredients together and serve with salad.  Store leftovers in the fridge.

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