I’m a big fan of Gourmet magazine (I still miss the monthly version), and I found this appealing summer salad recipe in their grilling issue a few months ago. It’s fresh, and very beautiful – all the bounty of summer on one big treat-yourself plate. Pair this with a baguette and a glass of icy white wine, and you’ve got a brilliant, elegant meal.
Grilled Chicken Salad
Prep time: 1 ½ hours
Adapted from Gourmet magazine
- 4 cups romaine of Bibb lettuce, thinly sliced
For tomato salad:
- 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
- ¼ cup basil, thinly sliced
For grilled mushrooms and chicken:
- ¾ pound cremini mushrooms, cut in half
- ¾ pound fresh shitake mushroom stems, caps cut in half, stems reserved for another purpose
- 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- ½ cup basil pesto
For green bean salad:
- 1 pound fresh green beans
- ½ cup whole almonds with skin, toasted and chopped coarsely
For chickpea salad:
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
For radish cucumber salad:
- 1/3 cup salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bunch radishes
- 4 small cucumbers or 1 seedless cucumber
- ½ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 small garlic clove, minced
- ¾ teaspoon sugar
- ¾ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup chives
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
To make the vinaigrette:
- Whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic cloves, sugar, olive oil and chives with ½ teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- Combine tomato segments and finely chopped basil.
- Boil 4 cups of water with salt, sugar, garlic, and pepper in a 4-quart pot for ten minutes.
- Trim and halve radishes. Halve cucumbers lengthwise and cut into ½ inch slices.
- Remove brine from heat and add radishes and cucumbers, allowing them to stand uncovered for ten minutes.
- Drain in a colander, and remove garlic.
- Put radishes and cucumbers in an ice bath and drain well.
- Chill for 20 minutes in refrigerator, and garnish with parsley.
- Combine chickpeas, onion, ¼ cup vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook green beans in a pot of well-salted boiling water until tender – 3-5 minutes.
- Drain and transfer to ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain again and pat dry.
- Heat grill to medium high. Mix mushrooms with 2 tablespoons vinaigrette and marinate for ten minutes.
- Grill mushrooms on oiled grill until browned, about 5 minutes.
- Toss grilled mushrooms with vinaigrette.
- Season chicken with ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper.
- Grill chicken on oiled grill, turning as necessary until cooked through – about ten minutes.
- Cut chicken into ½ inch slices and toss with pesto in a bowl.
- Toss cucumbers and radishes with parsley, 3 tablespoons vinaigrette, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss beans with 2 tablespoons vinaigrette and sprinkle with almonds.
- Toss tomatoes with 3 tablespoons vinaigrette and basil.
- Toss lettuce with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette.
- Arrange chicken, mushrooms and salads in long rows on a large platter, like a composed salad.
- Serve remaining vinaigrette on the side.
- Serve at room temperature.
For the tomato salad:
For the radish-cucumber salad:
For the chickpea salad:
For the green beans:
For the mushrooms and chicken: