Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Grilled Chicken Salads with Rhubarb-Blueberry Dressing

Asparagus, rhubarb, blueberries, baby lettuces—the delightful tastes (and pretty produce) of spring and summer. This flavorful grilled chicken makes a light, casual dinner that’s both healthful and satisfying.

The dressing is a bit syrupy when first cooked, so I thinned it with water. Use a little more or a little less to get to your desired consistency. 

Serves 4


For the Dressing
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp honey or white sugar (or 1 tbsp of each)
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Dressing Ingredients
For the Salad
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 6-7 oz asparagus spears
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 6-oz boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, about 3/4-inch in thickest part
  • 5 oz mixed baby lettuces
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 3 oz crumbled feta cheese (or crumbled goat cheese)

For the Dressing
  1. Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the shallot and rhubarb and cook, stirring frequently, 5 minutes.
  2. Add the blueberries, water, honey or sugar (or both), and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook until the rhubarb and blueberries have broken down, 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes.
Rhubarb and Shallot 
Remaining Ingredients Added
  1. Pour the mixture into a food processor and process until well blended. (Add water 1 tablespoon at a time if the consistency is still too thick.)
  2. With the processor on, gradually add the extra virgin olive oil. Remove to a bowl and re-season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Cooked Blueberry Mixture 
Blended Dressing
For the Salad
  1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and brush with oil. Add the asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Grill, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender and browned in spots, 6-7 minutes for medium-thick spears. Remove to a cutting board and cut into 1-inch pieces.
Asparagus Beginning to Grill 
Grilled Asparagus
  1. Brush the pan with more oil and add the chicken. Season with salt and pepper and grill until golden brown and just cooked through, 7-8 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Remove to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Cut each breast into thin, diagonal slices.
Grilled Chicken Breasts
  1. Place the lettuces, walnuts, cherries, and grilled asparagus pieces in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of the dressing and toss lightly to combine.
To serve, divide the lettuce mixture among 4 shallow bowls or plates. Divide the chicken on top of each. Spoon additional dressing over each salad and sprinkle cheese on top. Serve right away.

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