I came up with this light, brightly flavored salad to deplete my late-summer cache of garden-fresh produce. The dressing calls for fresh lemon juice, though you can substitute a good unsweetened frozen lemon juice, such as Minute Maid Premium 100% Pure Lemon Juice.
Serve with crisp lettuce, tomato wedges and warm corn bread or breadsticks. The salad keeps well, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, so any leftovers can be turned into a prep-free meal. Because the olive oil in the dressing stiffens when chilled, allow the salad to warm up almost to room temperature before serving.
Servings: 4 - 5
- For the chicken
- 1 to 1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed of excess fat, each cut into 4 pieces
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- For the salad
- 4 to 5 medium zucchini and/or yellow summer squash
- 1 14- to 16-ounce can garbanzo or cannellini beans
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped green or purple basil leaves
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint leaves
- 1/4 cup snipped or chopped chives
- 1/3 cup pitted, brine-cured kalamata or similar black olives, drained, for garnish
- For the dressing
- Juice of 1 1/2 large lemons (about 1/3 cup)
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the chicken: Combine the chicken and broth in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a full boil and then reduce the heat as needed to boil the chicken gently, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until it is cooked through. Use tongs to transfer the chicken to a cutting board to cool. Discard the broth or strain and reserve for another use, if desired.
While the chicken is poaching, prepare the vegetables for the salad: Cut the zucchini and/or squash into 1/4-inch dice and transfer to a large, nonreactive bowl. Drain and rinse the garbanzo or cannellini beans and add to the bowl. Add the chopped herbs and toss to combine. Coarsely chop the olives and set aside.
For the dressing: In a small, deep bowl or cup, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper until well combined.
To assemble: Cut the cooled chicken into 1/3-inch cubes (small dice) and add to the vegetables. Add the dressing, tossing to coat evenly. Let stand 5 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle; toss again lightly before serving. Transfer to a platter to serve, and sprinkle the chopped olives on top; or divide among individual plates, then garnish with the chopped olives.
From cookbook author Nancy Baggett.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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