June 22, 2011

La Dolce Duchessa's Summer Salad

Every few weeks, my husband professes his desire to eat healthier. While this often gets thrown out the window when there's an attractive rib eye on the menu, he especially requests more healthy weeknight meals during the summer. What he really means is a great salad with some tasty grilled chicken. This is great for you, too- not only is it delicious, it's really not that much work. And, you can have enough leftover for a delicious lunch!

La Dolce Duchessa's Summer Salad


1 lb. chicken breast, cut into 1-2" strips (tenders)

4 Tbsp. (1/4 cup) olive oil

1 tsp. honey

1 tsp. sea salt

freshly cracked pepper (20 grinds)

1 tsp. rosemary (dried)

1/2 tsp. thyme (dried)


2 heads romaine lettuce

1 red, orange, or yellow bell pepper (a sweet one, not a green one)

1 plum tomato

1 ear corn


2 Tbsp. lime juice

4 Tbsp. olive oil

sea salt

white pepper

While the little one is napping, marinate your chicken. Even if it's just a few hours, it will make a big difference! Our little boy takes a nap from 1-4 now, which is heavenly... I use his nap time to work on my garden beds. So! In a deep container, combine the olive oil, honey, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Add the chicken and mix well to coat. Refrigerate and let this marinate for a few hours. I let mine sit for 2 1/2 hours before cooking.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat some olive oil. Once it's shimmering (that's when it looks sort of wobbly, if you find it hard to tell, get lower and look at it from a side angle, it may be easier to see that way). Add your chicken pieces and cook at about medium heat for about 8 minutes per side. Don't turn it over sooner- otherwise you won't get that nice browning. When it's been nicely browned on both sides, remove from the heat and place on a plate to cool.

While your chicken is cooking, you have the option of roasting your bell pepper. Never done this before? Don't worry, it is really, really simple. It works best with a gas stove. I really like cooking with a gas stove. My stove, as you can see in the pictures, has fairly open racks over the burner. I can just sit the (washed) bell pepper above the burner, the heat is a little higher than medium, and then using a pair of tongs, reposition when I get sufficient blistering. Have a zip lock bag or a bowl ready, once you've nicely blistered the outside, you need to either place it in the zip lock bag or in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let it sit for about 10 minutes. If you don't have a gas stove, give this a try over a conventional burner, using tongs. The results are not quite as dramatic, but they will taste just as good. After it's sat for about 10 minutes, using your hands, peel away what you can of the charred skin and loose skin. (If it's really hot, do this under running cool water) The flesh underneath likely won't be 'roasted' looking. It's ok if all the skin doesn't come off- you just want to remove what will texturally be unappealing, that's basically the charred and loose parts. Cut open the bell pepper, remove the stem and seeds. Chop into 1/2" pieces.

To assemble the remainder of the salad, wash your romaine, tomato and corn. Cut the romaine in 1" pieces, remove the stem portion of the tomato and cut into small pieces. Cut the ear of corn in half and then hold it vertically against the cutting board. Cut off the kernels using your knife. To make your lime dressing, combine the ingredients in a small mason jar. Shake well, that's it! On a plate or a bowl, place a mixture of the romaine, roasted bell pepper, tomato and corn. Top with the grilled chicken, you can cut it into smaller pieces or serve it in tact, up to you! Serve with the lime dressing. Enjoy! Have some cake for dessert. You can, because this dinner was so healthy!

We seriously are having cake for dessert. I am taking a cake decorating class! Here's an example of me practicing my shell border, rosettes and leaves. Hooray, cake!

1 comment:

Joshua said...

That's the way my mother-in-law taught me to do sweet peppers