Balsamic Chicken and Spinach Salad
with strawberries / blue cheese / almonds
This entree salad is just the sort of thing that makes us look forward to spring - fresh strawberries and balsamic vinegar give the salad a nice balance of sweet and tart. This salad was first featured in 2018.
Smarts: Savory, salty blue cheese adds nice contrast to the salad, but feel free to use any cheese you'd like - goat cheese or feta would be great alternatives.
- 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
Make 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.
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Remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade). Season chicken on both sides with some salt and pepper.
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. 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 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!