Friday, April 4, 2008

Dinner Salad

Sometimes I don't remember to take the photo until it's too late. Which is a good sign since it means we couldn't stop eating.

Doesn't it look like it was good?

Back in my bachelorette days I still cooked, but more in a subsistence way. My favorite thing to make was a dinner salad--a green salad topped with some kind of hot meat. And truthfully, it's still really damn good and simple and healthy. I made this one with chicken, but any thing would work.

Here's the general framework:

1. Hot meat (chicken, flank steak, salmon, bacon, sausage)
2. Salad base (mixed greens or my favorite--arugula)
3. Dressing (you could adapt this depending on the other ingredients)
4. Cheese (goat cheese is my favorite, feta, blue cheese, or parmigiano reggiano all also work well)
5. Fresh fruit (this adds a apple slice thin, ripe pear, grapefruit, persimmon)
6. Other toppings: fresh herbs, chopped roasted nuts

I'll give you the recipe for the one I made the other night, but I'm telling you. Be creative.

Dinner Salad

2 breasts chicken
spice rub (your choice)
butter lettuce
olive oil (the good stuff)
balsamic vinegar (even more important that it be the good stuff! Use aged balsamic. You need it for this.)
honey mustard
salt and pepper
feta cheese
fresh grapefruit segments (for directions see here)

Wash greens very well, and spin dry, then dry with paper towels. Put in a salad bowl.

Make dressing, mixing 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 olive oil in a small bowl (really you can eyeball this, you can always keep tasting and add one or the other as needed). Mix in 1 tsp honey mustard, and whisk to blend.

Rub chicken breasts with spice rub. Heat up a pan on the stove and brown a few minutes on each side until golden. Put in low oven (200 degrees) and cook until interior temperature is 160. Cut up into small slices.

Dress salad with dressing and mix to taste (only use as much dressing as you need to just coat the leaves, it's less than you think. Put remaining dressing in small bowl and put in chicken to coat.

Put dressed salad on a plate, top with hot meat that's been coated with the dressing. Top with feta cheese crumbles and surround with grapefruit segments. Salt and pepper to taste.