Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Grilled Chicken, Red Pepper and Melon Salad

Ahhh, summer has arrived. And with it, summer eating. Sweet cantaloupe, creamy avocado, lightly charred red pepper and chicken combine with crisp lettuce and a citrus dressing for an easy summer dinner salad. The dressing can be made ahead and the rest of the salad comes together quickly.

Citrus Dressing:

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup orange juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons minced red onion
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients and whisk to combine. Refrigerate until needed. This recipe makes more than what's needed for the salad, but keeps well and can be used on any salad.

Grilled Chicken, Red Pepper and Melon Salad (Serves 2)

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup Citrus dressing (recipe above)
1 sweet red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
1/2 cantaloupe melon, seeded, peeled and thinly sliced, then cut into chunks
1 avocado, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
1/4 cup basil, chopped
2 -3 cups shredded romaine lettuce

Place the chicken breasts and red pepper quarters in a flat dish and pour over the Citrus Dressing. Let marinate for 20 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Discard marinade and grill chicken and red pepper over medium high heat until pepper is softened and lightly charred, and chicken is no longer pink inside. The red pepper will take about 6 minutes, longer for the chicken. Cut chicken and red pepper into bite-sized chunks.

To serve, pile lettuce on individual plates and top with melon, avocado chunks, chicken and red pepper. Drizzle dressing over top. Sprinkle with basil.
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