Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Yummy Salad for Hot days

I don't know about where you are, but here in NoVa it is HOT!!!  I just got back from my 4 mile walk drenched and looked at the thermometer...99 degrees at 10 am!!!

I definitely don't want anything heavy for lunch.  Here is a sweet little salad I made for dinner the other night using the fruit from the farmer's market.  It is from this month's Cooking Light Magazine.  Perfect for these sweltering days!

Stone Fruit Chicken-Rice Salad
(Serves 4)

3 (6 oz) skinless chicken breast halves 
(Or left over chicken or rotisserie chicken from the store)
1 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp black pepper divided
Cooking spray
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp grated lemon rind
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups pitted, coarsely chopped nectarines
1 cup coarsely chopped pitted cherries
1 cup cooked brown rice, cooled 
(I used some basmati rice that I had leftover from another meal)
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup dry-roasted almonds, chopped
Mixed Spring Greens
3 Tbsp torn mint

1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. 
2.  Sprinkle both sides of chicken evenly with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Place chicken on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes on each side or until done.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Chop chicken.  (I used some leftover chicken breasts.  If I am grilling for one dinner, I always make more for lunches or dinners later in the week.)
3.  Combine oil, rind, juice, and mustard in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk.  Add chopped, cooked chicken, nectarines, and remaining ingredients; toss well.
(I added in a couple of handfuls of mixed spring greens - maybe 2 cups per serving and tossed it in too.)

The lemon and mint gave it such a refreshing taste and kept the sweetness of the nectarines and cherries from overwhelming.   The chicken and the almonds made it a filling and satisfying dinner salad.

Enjoy!  What are you feasting on for these HOT summer days?

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