Light, refreshing spring salads don't have to consist of elusive sweet pea shoots or pricey micro-greens.
Here we toss together sprightly citrus, pungent fresh mint and a few readily available ingredients for a fresh-tasting jumble of flavors and textures.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 grapefruit
- 1/4 cup mint leaves
- 1 pinch young spinach, arugula or mixed lettuces
- Sea salt
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup pistachios or almonds, coarsely chopped
Pat the chicken dry and cut each piece lengthwise into 3 slices. Place the chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and, using your hand, a skillet or a rolling pin, gently flatten it to an even thickness of between 1/4 and 1/2 inch. Transfer to a shallow baking dish, drizzle with 4 tablespoons of the oil, scatter the lemon slices evenly over the top and sprinkle with pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, using a large chef's knife, peel both grapefruit: Working with 1 at a time, slice off both ends. Stand the grapefruit on 1 end, then slice downward, following the curve of the fruit, cutting away both the skin and pith but leaving as much of the fruit as possible. Segment the peeled fruits. Using a paring knife, cut between the sections to detach each section from its surrounding membrane. Arrange the grapefruit sections on individual plates; set aside. Squeeze the empty membrane and reserve the juice.
In a large bowl, toss together the mint and greens and remaining oil to taste. Drizzle with some of the grapefruit juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the onion slices and pistachios or almonds and divide the mixture evenly among the plates, mounding it atop the grapefruit.
Place a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Transfer the chicken to the skillet, discarding the marinade, and cook until crisp and golden on the outside and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Season with salt to taste and place 3 pieces of chicken atop each salad. Serve immediately
Adapted from "Bill's Food" by Bill Granger (Murdoch, 2002).
Tested by Renee Schettler.
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