Spring has arrived in Belgium and while some days still call for warm and comforting food, others inspire lighter meals. And when that is the case salads are the perfect dinner option. This salad is inspired by Cooking Light and is filled with juicy seasonal fruit, crisp greens and sweet and tangy chicken breasts.
For me, the secret to building a satisfying salad that can serve as a satisfying entree is a variety of flavors and textures. The chicken is glazed with a simple mixture of preserves before being grilled; if your dinner hour is rushed, you can cook up the chicken ahead of time. Alternatively you can use any leftover chicken you have on hand or even buy a rotisserie chicken to slice up as a topping. I am a fan of sweet and savory combinations so this salad uses a combination of strawberries and fresh pineapple tossed with onions and peppers. Use whatever fruits and vegetables sound good to you. And because you build the salads individually you can add or omit toppings depending upon your family’s individual preferences.
GLAZED GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD w/ STRAWBERRIES & FETA
1/3 cup black current, cherry or seedless raspberry preserves
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
4 6 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups strawberries, sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
4 cups mixed salad greens
1 cup thinly sliced orange bell peppers
1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
4 tablespoons sunflower seeds
- Combine the preserves, 1 teaspoon of the salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the black pepper and the garlic powder in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring until combined. Set aside.
- Preheat a lightly oiled grill to medium-high.
- Brush both sides of the chicken breasts with the preserve mixture. Place the chicken on the grill and cook, turning every 4 to 5 minutes and brushing with more preserves until cooked through, about 24 to 28 minutes depending upon the thickness of the breasts. When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the grill and set aside.
- Combine the oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar and remaining salt and pepper in a small bowl.
- Place the strawberries and onions in a medium sized bowl and then add the oil and vinegar mixture. Toss gently to coat.
- Divide the salad greens amongst four plates or shallow bowls.
- Evenly divide the strawberry mixture and dressing over the top of the greens.
- Add the peppers and pineapple to the tops of the salad.
- Slice each chicken breast on the diagonal and place one breast on top of each salad.
- Sprinkle with the feta cheese and sunflower seeds over the top of the salads and serve immediately.