This is a vegetable-heavy salad accented with a small amount of meat: a light, vibrant summer dish that would be perfectly at home in a picnic spread. The surprising element is Swiss chard stems, cut the same length as the French-style green beans they're paired with.
Servings: 2 - 3
- For the dressing
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- Pinch salt
- Freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- Leaves from 1 small bunch mint, coarsely chopped (3/4 ounce)
- For the chicken
- 2 or 3 boneless, skin-on chicken breast halves (about 1 pound, tenderloins trimmed and reserved for another use)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Leaves from 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped (1 tablespoon)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- For the vegetables
- Salt (for the cooking water)
- 12 leaves Swiss chard, with stems
- 7 ounces thin green beans, trimmed
- 6 small tomatoes, such as Campari, cut into halves or quarters
- A few nasturtiums (optional)
For the dressing: Combine the shallot, salt, lemon juice, oil and mint in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Seal and shake until emulsified.
For the chicken: Gently pound the chicken breast halves to flatten them to an even thickness of 1/2 to 3/4 inch. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste, and the rosemary.
Heat a skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat; add the oil and swirl to coat evenly, then add the chicken, skin side down. Cook for about 5 minutes, until golden brown, then turn the chicken over, cover the pan with a lid or aluminum foil, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through, with no trace of pink inside. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
For the vegetables: Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Tear the Swiss chard leaves off the stems and cut the stems so they are the same size as the green beans.
Drop the chard stems and green beans into the boiling water; cook for 2 or 3 minutes until tender. Add the chard leaves and cook for about 30 seconds. Drain into a colander set in the sink, allowing the chard and green beans to drain.
Pour the dressing into a salad bowl, then add the drained green beans and chard, along with the tomatoes and nasturtium flowers, if using; toss to combine.
Cut the chicken into thick slices, place on top of the salad and serve.
From "Tender: A Cook and his Vegetable Patch," by British author and television personality Nigel Slater (Ten Speed Press, 2011).
Tested by Joe Yonan.
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