Balsamic Chicken and Spinach Salad
with strawberries / blue cheese / almonds
The combination of flavors in this fresh, spring-minded salad was first featured in a meal plan in 2017.
Smarts: Balsamic vinaigrette doubles as marinade and dressing to give the salad maximum flavor in the fewest steps.
- Shallots - 1 clove , diced
- Vinegar, balsamic - 3 Tbsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 1 Tbsp
- Honey - 2 Tbsp
- Oil, cooking - 1/2 cup
- Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp
- Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 1 lb
- Strawberries - 1 pint , quartered
- Baby spinach - 8 oz
- Cheese, blue - 4 oz (sub feta or goat cheese)
- Almonds, sliced - 1/3 cup
Balsamic vinaigrette - Dice shallots. Combine shallots with vinegar, mustard, honey, oil and lemon juice. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Marinate chicken - Combine chicken with half the vinaigrette (reserve the other half for dressing) and tenderize with a fork. Marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to a day. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
Strawberries - Quarter strawberries.
If using a grill: Preheat grill to to 400F / 204C degrees, keeping one section on higher heat and another section on lower heat. Clean and brush grates with some oil. Remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade) and place over high heat. Sear chicken for 2 to 3 minutes on each side and transfer to lower heat. Cook until internal temperature reaches 165F / 74C degrees, an additional 2 to 3 minutes.
If using the stovetop: Place a grill pan or skillet over medium heat. Brush pan with some oil and sear chicken (discard marinade) on both sides for 2 to 3 minutes. Lower heat to low-medium, cover with foil, and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165F / 74C degrees.
When chicken is finished cooking, cover and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Slice chicken. Assemble salads by topping spinach with sliced chicken, strawberries, crumbled cheese, and almonds. Finish with reserved half of vinaigrette at the table. Enjoy!