Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sizzling Summer Salad Solutions

Hot, humid, muggy days make you rethink eating.   Nothing sounds good.  No one wants to fire up the stove and make the kitchen even more miserable.  This is an answer to the dilemma.  Simple.  Quick.  Relatively inexpensive.  Delicious.  What more could you ask for?

I made this salad for our family in Dallas when we visited, and my daughter requests it when we visit.  Talk about hot!  It was 110 in the shade.  Nobody wanted to cook.

To the salad, add some grilled chicken that has been marinated in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and rosemary.  Now we're talking!

This is what it looks like when you serve it and oh my, is it good!  Cool, crunchy, sweet fruit, smokey chicken, candied pecans.  Yup.  That is a summer meal worthy of any hot, miserable day.  Here's how you do it.


Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 3 cut in half because they were so thick.  Three for $5.00 at Aldi's)
1/3 cup good extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 large clove garlic minced
1 Tbsp rosemary - fresh, minced  (you can use dried if that's what you have)

Because the chicken breasts were so thick, I cut them in half horizontally to make sure they would cook through quickly on the grill.  Salt and pepper both sides.  Mix the marinade and put into a gallon zip lock bag.  Put the chicken breasts into the marinade and "moosh" around to make sure they are covered with the marinade.  Put the bag in a bowl in case it leaks.  Place in the refrigerator for 1 to 1.5 hours.

Grill until just done.  You don't want them to be too dry.  Cut a slit in the center to make sure they are not pink and that juices run clear.  Remove from the grill when done.


1 5 oz bag mixed spring greens or your favorite greens (1 bag from Aldi's $1.29)
1 container strawberries, topped and quartered
1 large hand full fresh blueberries (or as many as you would like)
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
3 scallions sliced, whites and greens
5 baby carrots cut into very thin medallions
1 cup grapes, halved
 Mix in large salad bowl

Candied pecans:

1/2 cup pecan pieces or pecan halves (which you can cut up)
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp water

Mix water and sugar in a small saucepan until sugar dissolves.  Place on the stove and add pecans.  Stir for several minutes while sugar mixture bubbles.  Pecans will become shiny as the sugar mixture coats them.  Watch closely, do not let burn!  Stir constantly.  Remove from stove.  Cut into pieces if using pecan halves.   Add to the large salad bowl.

I used two deep soup bowls and filled them with the salad.  I cut one of the chicken breasts for each of us and placed it on top of the salad.  (That's actually 1/2 of a whole breast)  I used a raspberry vinaigrette on my salad.  Dan doesn't eat dressings, so he used salt and pepper only.  You can use any dressing you prefer.

Not only is this a pretty salad to look at (we eat with our eyes first), it is so cool, refreshing and enjoyable.  You can get your daily allotment of fruits and veggies and not feel over stuffed when you are finished.  We have left overs for tomorrow and several chicken breasts that can be used in another recipe later in the week.  That means, little or no cooking while this sweltering heat hangs around.   I don't know about you, but I'm looking for simple and easy right now.

Give this recipe a try.  It will quickly become one of your summertime favorites.  Quick, easy, delicious, inexpensive.  Add some crusty bread and you are ready to eat.  Ideal for any summer meal.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

Respond to every call that excites your spirit.
Rumi ♥

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