Say hello to my new favorite salad – and my guy’s new favorite chicken recipe.
This amazing salad combines sweet strawberries with salty feta along with the zip of red onions and the nice crunch of toasted almonds. The vinaigrette makes it, though. The honey and balsamic vinegar set off the flavors of the salad just so. The optional balsamic-and-fresh-basil marinated and grilled chicken is tender, moist, and full of flavors that complement the dish perfectly – and it’ll make the carnivores in your life happy.
This terrific salad makes a very satisfying dinner, with or without the chicken. And with spinach and strawberries in season, it’s the perfect salad for right now.
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 20 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup sliced almonds
- 3 cups mixed greens
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
- ½ small red onion, halved and sliced
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Pinch salt
- If including chicken, pound the chicken breasts to approximately ½ inch thick. Add to a gallon-sized Ziploc bag (I actually pound it right in the bag then add the marinade. I’m a little worried about causing holes, but it hasn’t happened yet). Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, basil, salt, and black pepper. Pour over the chicken in the bag. Refrigerate for at least an hour, up to 12 hours.
- Grill for about three minutes on each side until cooked through. Set aside.
- Make the salad dressing. Whisk together all the ingredients – olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, and salt. Refrigerate for at least an hour, if possible, so the flavors meld.
- Toast almonds in a saute pan on medium high for about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until you can smell them/they look toasted. Set aside and let cool.
- In a large salad bowl, toss together the mixed greens, spinach, strawberries, onion, feta cheese, and cooled sliced almonds.
- Just before serving, pour the salad dressing over the salad and gently toss again.
- Cut the chicken into slices, if using, and place it atop individual servings as desired.