Here’s a wonderful summer salad that I first tasted in Dubai years ago at my friend, Rima’s for lunch. It’s her favorite and it’s become one of our as well – the chicken and the nectarines are a great combination and makes a healthy yet filling meal for either lunch or dinner. We had it for dinner yesterday night and it was just right after our heavy roast lamb lunch.
Grilled Nectarines and Chicken Salad
- 4 boneless chicken breasts (*I use about 20 pieces of the small chicken fillets that are just underneath the breast – they’re softer and look nicer when grilled. In Spain, these are sold in packs at the supermarket and called “solomillo de pollo” or chicken tenderloin).
- 3 small nectarines, pitted and cut into wedges(with skin or without)
- 1 1/2 bags mixed salad greens (*I use 2 kinds of curly leaf lettuce, some arugula, fresh dill and fresh parsley)
- 1 small red bell pepper, finely sliced (optional)
Marinade for the chicken:
- juice of 2 oranges
- 1 tsp. Herbes de Provence (*This is a dried spice mix of rosemary, marjoram, basil, bay leaf, thyme and lavender flowers)
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- freshly-ground black pepper
Creamy Pine-nut vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tsp. Herbes de Provence
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup white wine or rice vinegar
- pinch of sugar
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. water (if needed)
- Mix all ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Place the chicken in a Pyrex or glass dish and our the marinade over. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours. Bring to room temperature before cooking.
- Lightly toast the pine nuts in the oven for about 6 minutes. (*I use a heated non-stick pan). Place in a min-food processor and process until finely-chopped. Add the mustard, Herbes de Provence, salt, vinegar, sugar and mix. Add the oil in a thin stream and process until smooth. Dilute with water if the vinaigrette is too thick. Season to taste. (*The dressing can be made the day before. If it separates, put it back in the food processor to mix).
- Heat a stove-top grill or grill pan with oil and heat on medium-high. Grill the nectarine pieces a minute for each side. Transfer to a plate. On the same pan, grill the chicken pieces 4 minutes per side. If using whole chicken breasts, remove to a chopping board and slice into strips.
- Toss the salad greens in the vinaigrette and top with the chicken and nectarines. Sprinkle with red peppers, parsley and more of the vinaigrette.
- This salad can be served warm or at room temperature.
- Serves 6.