Monday, October 5, 2009

Arugula Salad with Grilled Chicken, Green Beans, Tomatoes, and Lemon-Basil Dressing

Even after five years of Andrew living in the U.S., there are still a few misunder-standings of language between us every now and again.  We talked about growing peas this year, but ended up with lima beans and green beans.  Apparently they sell pea seeds in the UK but here they are called shelling peas.  So, when Andrew first went to buy pea seeds, he couldn't find any.  From looking at the pictures on the seed packages, he came home with the afore mentioned beans.  He showed them to me, and clueless of his strife, I responded, "why didn't you get peas?"  If looks could kill, I wouldn't be writing this blog!  We did end up finding and growing peas, which were wonderful, by the way.  So good, in fact, that I have no recipes to share as we never once saved any to cook.  Our two-year old loved opening the pods and eating the raw peas.  Green beans on the other hand weren't quite as attractive.  And, I have to admit, I struggled to get very excited about them at first either.  But alas, we were eating from the garden, so I set out to find a use.  I was so pleasantly surprised.  The green beans were wonderful any way we fixed them.  Now, the vines are finally on their last legs and just about ready to be pulled out.  I figured I could get one more meal out of them, combined with the ends of our cherry tomatoes and the start of our arugula.  This salad was so delicious I would make it every week if I had the ingredients.  I hope you like it too! 

Serves two

1 Chicken breast
10-15 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 handful of green beans, trimmed
3 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
2 Cups of arugula (or mix of salad greens and arugula)
little bit of lemon juice
olive oil
sea salt
fresh ground pepper

Dressing: (Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine)
1/2 Cup loosely packed basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
juice of half a small lemon
1-1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil

Turn on the barbecue or grill to medium.  Season the chicken breast, green beans, and cherry tomatoes with a little olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper.  Cook chicken until golden brown and no longer pink inside, set aside to let cool.  Spread green beans and tomatoes on a barbecue vegetable tray and roast over medium-high heat.  The beans and tomatoes cook fast so watch them carefully, remove and set aside to cool.  

To make the dressing, place basil leaves in a colander and dip into boiling water for 10 seconds.  Place into a small food processer or blender.  Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt, and pulse a couple of times.  Add olive oil and blend until smooth.  

In a large serving bowl, combine arugula, tomatoes, green beans, and mozzarella.  Top with sliced chicken and drizzle dressing over the top.  Add additional salt and pepper if desired. 

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