Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Grilled Summer Salad with Chicken, Corn & Zucchini

Apparently, this is the summer of salads in our house.  While we have a side salad with most meals, I'm not usually one for salads as a main course.  They often don't feel like enough to me and I'm hungry a few hours after.  But this one has pretty much everything you'd (well, I'd) want.  And when I say it's a grilled salad, I mean it: you (well, my husband) grill the chicken, corn, zucchini and even the romaine! Then everything is chopped up and tossed with a lemon-olive oil-garlic dressing and topped with feta.  Summer in a bowl.

I might even serve these next time with a baguette or biscuits as well!

Grilled Summer Salad with Chicken, Corn & Zucchini
Taken from: Pink Parsley
Serves about 4
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for dressing
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 2-3 ears corn, husk and silks removed
  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick planks
  • 1 head of romaine hearts, halved lengthwise
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • juice of one lemon (about 2 Tbsp)
  • 2 Tbs chopped fresh basil (I forgot to add this but it would have been delicious!)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 2 oz)
  1. Prepare the grill to cook at medium-high heat.  Allow to preheat at least 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the oil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  3. Brush the zucchini, corn, and romaine with oil, then pour about 1 tablespoon of the oil mixture over the chicken breasts,  Brush them with the oil then discard the brush (In other words, don't dip it back into the mixture, because it will contaminate the oil since the chicken is raw!).  Reserve the remaining oil mixture to use for the dressing.
  4. Clean the cooking grate, then place the chicken, zucchini, romaine, and corn on the grill.  This may need to be done in batches, depending on the size of your grill.  But definitely start with the chicken since it takes the longest to cook.  
  5. For the chicken, grill it about 7 minutes per side, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees.  Cover with foil.
  6. For the corn, grill, turning every 2 to 3 minutes, until the kernels are lightly charred all over, about 10 minutes total.
  7. For the zucchini, grill it until it is well-browned and tender (but not mushy), about 4 to 8 minutes per side.
  8. For the romaine, grill it 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until it is very lightly charred.
  9. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing.  Add enough oil to the remaining oil-garlic-pepper mixture to reach a volume of 1/4 cup, then whisk in the lemon juice.  Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  10. Once everything is off the grill, begin building the salad.  Chop the romaine hearts into bite-sized pieces and add them to a large bowl.  Cut the kernels off the corn and add them to the romaine.  Cut the zucchini crosswise into 1/2 inch-thick slices, and add those as well.  Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Crumble the feta into the bowl, and top with the chopped basil.  Drizzle the dressing over the top, then toss well to combine.  
  11. Divide among plates, then lightly sprinkle each serving with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Serve.


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