2 Sep

chicken & pasta salad

 

For me, this is the perfect Summer dinner.

Grilled chicken, charred corn, ripe tomatoes, slightly sweet nectarines, pasta, and crisp salad greens, tossed with a simple homemade dressing. Not to mention the tomato and peach toasts that I love to eat with this meal and, if we’re being honest, while it comes together.

I realize that the last thing you want to do when you get home after a long day at work is make your own salad dressing and croutons so if you want to make things easier on yourself, just buy a good bagged salad kit with the croutons and dressing already in it. This salad would be a great use for any leftover rotisserie chicken too.

My husband and daughter came up with a dressing just for this particular salad that consists of about 1/2 a cup of mayo, a teaspoon or so of Dijon mustard, a squeeze of lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and a splash of water just to thin it all out. Just eyeball everything and adjust for seasoning. That’s their haphazard method of recipe development and it hasn’t steered them wrong yet.

Their “house dressing” is perfect on this salad. It’s also the only dressing my daughter will eat but if it doesn’t appeal to you, just use your favorite salad dressing that is probably already in your refrigerator.

As far as the tomato peach toasts go, this is an issue of contention in my house. I love them, my husband does not so I always make him one anyway knowing that he won’t eat it and it will ultimately end up on my plate.

Ha! Trickery.

Also, nectarines and peaches are pretty much interchangeable for this application so go with whatever looks better in your produce department on this one.

I actually prefer ripe peaches on the toast and nectarines that are a little under ripe in the salad. But that’s me.

 

 

chicken & pasta salad

 

Chicken & Pasta Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

2 cups of cooked chicken

4-6 cups of salad greens

1 cup of corn – fresh or frozen, thaw if frozen

1/2 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes

1 nectarine

1/4 of a small baguette

2 cups of cooked and cooled rotini pasta

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cut the baguette into cubes and spread out onto a sheet pan. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the bread, season with salt, pepper, any other herbs and spices you like, and bake until lightly toasted and crisp.

Don’t forget about the bread.

Add the corn to a dry skillet set over medium high heat and toss gently every now and then until it becomes lightly charred. Remove from heat.

Don’t forget about the bread.

Chop the salad greens, nectarine, tomatoes, and chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to a bowl along with the cooked pasta.

Don’t forg… seriously, burnt croutons – just no.

Once the corn has cooled a bit, add it to the mixture along with your favorite dressing and toss gently.

 

For Tomato Peach Toasts:

1 tomato, thinly sliced

1 peach, thinly sliced

1/4 of a small baguette, sliced on the bias

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp brown sugar

 

Directions

Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to a small sauce pot set over medium heat. Stir to combine and let the mixture simmer until reduced by about half. Remove from heat.

Arrange tomato and peach slices on top of each slice of baguette.

Drizzle balsamic glaze over the top.

Enjoy with a big serving of the salad and a tall glass of iced tea.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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