This is the first of In Season columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick's exclusive online recipes derived from her community-supported agriculture membership.
Composed salads are a great choice for hot summer nights. They're fast, flavorful and require little or no heat in the kitchen.
In this salad, grilled chicken is the main ingredient. But duck, steak, seafood or mushrooms could easily stand in. Choose the extras (in this case, grilled squash, blackberries and basil) from whatever is fresh at the market. Drizzle with a quick blackberry vinaigrette.
If you don't have a grill, the chicken and squash can be broiled.
- 3/4 pound summer squash (2 to 3) such as pattypan, ends trimmed; cut the squash lengthwise into 3/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed of excess fat and lightly pounded to an even thickness of 3/4 inch
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2/3 cup blackberries
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar, or more to taste
- 1 head lettuce of choice, washed, spun-dry and torn into bite-size pieces
- 20 large basil leaves, cut into very thin strips (julienne)
Season the squash slices and chicken breast halves all over with salt and pepper to taste.
Place 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small dish; use it to brush the squash and chicken on both sides, then discard the remaining oil.
Grill or broil the squash and chicken until just cooked through. The squash should take about 6 to 8 minutes; turn it over once and watch closely so the vegetable does not burn. The chicken should take about 8 to 10 minutes; turn it over once. Let the squash and chicken cool for about 10 minutes; then cut the chicken crosswise into 1/2-inch strips.
Crush about half of the blackberries in a small bowl. Add the vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper to taste; mix well, then whisk in the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Divide the lettuce among individual plates and sprinkle half of the basil over each portion. Scatter the remaining blackberries over the salads. Top each salad with an equal portion of the squash and chicken strips. Sprinkle the remaining basil on the salads, then drizzle each serving with an equal amount of the blackberry vinaigrette.
From In Season columnist Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.