Spinach Strawberry Salad with Grilled Chicken

We are at a delightful time of the season as the early season greens can be paired with the first of the summer fruits.
Salads are so versatile; with a plate of spinach or mixed greens it can be topped with cooked chicken or your choice of meat, fruit, nuts, cheese and your favorite dressing.  Here is an example of spinach, strawberries and cooked chicken with a vinegar and oil dressing.
The ingredients you may select at the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market for this recipe are: spinach or green, chicken or other meat, strawberries.

If not using meat, skip this step

  • 2 Tbs.  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-3/4 lb. chicken (4 boneless, skinless breast) – optional (also delicious with left over cooked beef or pork)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds – optional (can use walnuts or pecans)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 medium shallot, minced

    Salad

  • 6 oz. loosely packed baby spinach leaves (about 6 cups)
  • 8 oz. strawberries, stemmed and quartered (about 1-1/2 cups) (later in the season can use fresh raspberries or blueberries or sliced pears or apples)
  • 3 oz. crumbled blue cheese (about 3/4 cup) – optional (or feta, if you prefer)

Grill chicken and remove from bone, if using whole chicken or chicken on the bone. Or, if using chicken breasts,  heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering hot. Pat the chicken dry and season with 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Cook, turning once, until just cooked through, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest, loosely covered with foil, for 5 minutes.

While the chicken cooks, if using almonds,  toast the almonds in a dry 10-inch skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until evenly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil with the vinegar, honey, shallot, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries, blue cheese, and almonds and toss with enough of the dressing to coat. Arrange the salad on a platter or plates. Slice the chicken and arrange on the salad. Drizzle with some of the remaining vinaigrette, if desired, and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with a hunk of warm crusty bread and a glass of rosé.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 550; Fat (g): fat g 40; Fat Calories (kcal): 360; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 9; Protein (g): protein g 35; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 24; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 14; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 1100; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 90; Fiber (g): fiber g 4;

  • by Jill Silverman Houghfrom Fine Cooking
    Issue 117 (slightly modified by MEZ)