I think most people like to have something a little lighter for dinner as the weather warms up and the days become longer. The night I decided to make a main course salad for dinner for Dennis and me. We both really enjoyed this salad, Dennis is still talking about it.
My inspiration for this salad came to me when I was shopping at the grocery store and sauntered through produce and came upon the pears. The red pears looked so good to me, I knew I wanted to use them in a recipe for dinner this week. When I was out walking, this recipe came to me.
I chose to use Baby Red Butter Lettuce as our base, but any lettuce will do. Just make sure to choose one of your favorites. My actual favorite is arugula, but although my husband likes arugula, I know it’s not one his favorites.
Making my salad and putting together this recipe in the late afternoon yesterday was actually more fun than I could’ve imagined. I was FaceTiming with two of my best friends, Azita and Ethel. I’ve been missing my friends so much during this time of quarantine, so it was great to chat with them while on FaceTime. Ethel and Azita actually thought it would be fun if I’d put together cooking videos and teach as I make something. I guess that could definitely be something to think about. Dennis has been asking me to make cooking videos since I began blogging. I promise to Dennis that I will do that soon and I will definitely think about little video Zoom or FaceTime cooking instruction videos with those that would be interested. The three of us just had so much fun yesterday.
I sprinkled the chicken breasts with kosher salt, pepper and Italian seasoning after squeezing the juice of two lemons and adding the zest of one of the lemons onto the breasts.
After I had seasoned the chicken, I spread dijon mustard onto the breasts and coated them in almond meal. (Feel free to use bread crumbs if you don’t have almond meal on hand. I always buy mine at Trader Joe’s.)
I heated a couple tablespoons of olive oil into a large skillet and browned the chicken for a few minutes on each side.
I then transferred the skillet into a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. I used the thin sliced breasts which tend to cook a bit faster than the regular chicken breasts.
While the chicken was baking in the oven, I sliced two red pears (one per salad). I also toasted walnuts in a small skillet in a drizzle of olive oil, a 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. I made sure to move the skillet back and forth over the flame quite often so the nuts wouldn’t burn. Once I started to smell the walnuts, I removed the skillet from the heat – about 3 minutes.
This recipe is really easy, there are only a few ingredients, which is also nice as the weather warms up. We want to spend more time outside and not as much in the kitchen. The salad consisted of baby red butter lettuce, chicken, pears, goat cheese, and walnuts. The dressing was so simple as well. I thought the salad needed no more than a drizzle of olive oil and the squeeze of a half a lemon over the top of each salad. I also added some fresh ground pepper over the salad to finish it off.
Instead of serving a piece of crusty bread with our salad, I served each with a flour tortilla. It was delicious. I already came up with another salad to make and share with you next week. That one will contain fresh dates – yum!
3/4 pound thin sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 lemons, zest of two, juice of three
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning salad
1 teaspoon pepper, plus more for seasoning salad and a dash for walnuts
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
4 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup almond meal
baby red butter lettuce
2 red pears, sliced thin
1/2 cup of walnuts (1/4 cup per salad)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus a drizzle to dress salad
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Squeeze the juice of two lemons and add the zest of two lemons to the chicken. Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, and Italian seasoning. Spread mustard over the top and bottom of the chicken and coat with almond meal.
- Heat oil in a large oven-proof skillet. Brown chicken on each side 3-4 minutes.
- Place in preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
- Put salad in large shallow bowls or onto plates and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and a dash of pepper. Cut pears into thin slices and add to top of lettuce.
- Dry roast walnuts in a small skillet with garlic powder, a pinch of kosher salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Heat for 3 minutes, just until you can smell the walnuts are toasted. Remove from heat.
- Slice cooked chicken into thin strips and add half to each salad. Add toasted walnuts and goat cheese to salad, another pinch of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and the juice of 1/2 lemon to each salad. Serve with a warm tortilla.
Until next time, Kris