With warm summer evenings, it’s nice to have a go-to recipe for an easy-to-prepare, light yet filling, entrée. One of my favorite summertime evening meals is warm grilled chicken served over a strawberry, feta cheese, and green salad and drizzled with a good balsamic vinaigrette.
The option is yours to choose to marinade the boneless, skinless chicken breasts or not. I usually do and I don’t follow a precise recipe for the marinade but these are the usual ingredients: brown sugar, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, minced onion, soya sauce, salt, and pepper. As for quantities of each ingredient, I don’t actually measure them out and add more or less, depending on how many chicken breasts I am marinating. I make several horizontal cuts in the chicken breasts to allow the marinade to permeate through the meat. Place the chicken breasts in a ziplok bag, mix together the marinade and pour it into the bag, making sure the entire chicken breasts are covered. Zip up the bag and place it in the fridge for several hours (I usually aim for between 2 and 4 hours). Heat up the grill and cook the chicken breasts until they are done.
One of the pleasures of summer is having our own garden. We eat a lot of salads and there is nothing better than running to the garden right before meal time and gathering a medley of fresh lettuce as well as some herbs from our little herb garden.
Slice the warm grilled chicken breast horizontally into slices about ¼” thick.
Cover the plate with a medley of greens. Transfer the cut-up chicken breast to centre of the plate on top of the lettuce bed. Slice up and add some fresh strawberries and red onion rings. Sprinkle with feta cheese and a few nuts such as cashews or sunflower seeds (or both!). Add a balsamic vinaigrette and voila, a tasty and light dinner. Serve with baguette slices and a refreshing glass of your favorite white wine. Here I have selected “flipflop”, a California Pinot Grigio which made a fine accompaniment to a summer salad.
My recipe for the vinaigrette follows. Of course, you know the secret to a really good vinaigrette – the best quality of olive oil and balsamic vinegar you can find. Because we have a “Liquid Gold Tasting Bar & All Things Olive” store in Charlottetown, I buy their olive oil and vinegar products because they are superior and fresh quality.
Peach and Mandarin Balsamic Vinaigrette
¼ cup Mandarin-infused olive oil
2 tbsp peach white balsamic vinegar
4 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp minced garlic
1 small green onion or 1 – 2 tsp finely chopped red onion
2 tsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ – 2 tsp sugar, to taste
Freshly ground pepper
Kosher salt, to taste
Mix and shake all ingredients together until well mixed. Drizzle over salad at time of serving.
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