Tuesday, May 14, 2013

strawberry balsamic salad with chicken

It's getting warmer, which means I certainly feel like eating lighter. Spring/summertime is my favorite because there's plenty of fresh produce available, and I seriously can't get enough. I decided to sweeten up my salad with strawberries, and then added leftover barbequed chicken thighs to balance it all out. The smokey, grilled flavor from the chicken was a bonus. Have I inspired you to have dinner outside? Fire up the grill and toss this simple spring salad together.

Strawberry Balsamic Salad with Chicken
Serves 2

3 cup chopped romaine lettuce
3 Tbsp strawberry balsamic dressing (see recipe below)
1 cup cooked chicken pieces, chopped (I had leftover BBQ'ed chicken thighs.)
3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries

1. Toss romaine with strawberry balsamic dressing. Add 3/4 cup of the chicken pieces and 1/2 cup of the strawberry slices and toss again.
2. Top with the remaining chicken and strawberries.
3. To brighten it up, you can also finish your salad off with fresh lemon zest.


Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

1/2 cup mashed fresh strawberries
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp honey
pinch of salt and pepper to taste

1. Add mashed strawberries balsamic vinegar and honey to saucepan and heat on medium high until it starts rapidly bubbling. Stir well to incorporate everything and also frequently to keep from sticking to the sides. 
2. Once it starts rapidly bubbling, allow to cook for about 2 minutes while stirring. Then, turn the heat way down to low/medium-low heat. Stir the mixture around occasionally as it continues to cook. It's ready when the balsamic vinegar has reduced-- the mixture has thickened and the volume looks like it has halved.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow mixture to cool for a few minutes before using. This can be used a spread, because it is somewhat jam-like. Or you can also use this as a dressing. Take your pick.

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