Dinner in 30 Minutes

Darina's Pan-Grilled Chicken

With Sun-Dried Tomatoes

4 servings

Here's a good way to use some of that basil in your garden before the first frost. This recipe is based on one developed by Darina Allen, a founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School in southern Ireland and author of 11 cookbooks. Adapted from "Spices of Life," by Nina Simonds (Alfred A. Knopf, 2005).

For the dressing:

1 shallot, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed and peeled

1/2 to 3/4 cup basil leaves

21/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

For the chicken:

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

6 cups mixed salad greens

3 sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), soaked in hot water for 5 minutes, then drained and finely chopped

Shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (optional)

For the dressing: In a food processor or blender, process the shallot, garlic and basil until the mixture turns to a paste, stopping once or twice to scrape the sides with a spatula. With the motor running, add the vinegar and then the olive oil in a steady stream. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

For the chicken: Flatten the chicken breast halves slightly to about a half-inch thickness. Brush with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a cast-iron grill or skillet on medium-high heat. Place the chicken breast halves on the grill or in the skillet. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a platter and let sit loosely covered for 5 minutes.

Place the mixed salad greens in a large bowl. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and about a third of the dressing and toss to combine. Place greens on individual plates. Cut the chicken on the diagonal into thin slices, keeping each breast half together. Fan the chicken pieces on top of the greens. Drizzle some dressing over the top and sprinkle with the cheese shavings, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature, with the remaining dressing on hand at the table.

Per serving: 416 calories, 29 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 31 g fat, 68 mg cholesterol, 4 g saturated fat, 554 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber

Recipe tested by Marcia Kramer; e-mail questions to food@washpost.com

-- Marcia Kramer

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WEDNESDAY-SUNDAY: Food and Fun Days at Whole Foods Markets. A dozen of Iceland's most celebrated chefs demonstrate Icelandic specialties. Cooking demonstrations, food tastings and discussions. Free. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. All Washington area Whole Foods Markets. See www.wholefoods.com for area locations.

WEDNESDAY: Chili Bowl Bonanza -- chili cooking competition at the Anacostia Farmers Market. Free. 3-7 p.m. Peace Park, 14th Street between U and V streets SE. Call 202-526-5344.

WEDNESDAY: Fall Tuscan Fare -- cooking class with "True Tuscan" author Cesare Casella at Sur La Table. $65 per person. 6:30 p.m. 1101 S. Joyce St., Arlington. Call 703-414-3580.

THURSDAY: Cooking demonstration and tastings with chef Alison Swope of Andale Restaurant at Penn Quarter Market. Free. 5 p.m. 8th Street NW between D and E streets. Call 202-362-8889.

SATURDAY: Meet chef Yannick Cam at Le Paradou. Lunch and discussion sponsored by the Smithsonian Associates. $105 for nonmembers. 12:30 p.m. 678 Indiana Ave. NW. Call 202-357-3030 or see www.residentassociates.org.

SATURDAY: Arts on Foot -- festival featuring cooking demonstrations from chefs and tastings from 22 local restaurants. Free. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. F Street NW between 7th and 9th streets. Call 202-482-7271 or see www.artsonfoot.org.

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SATURDAY: Asian Specials cooking class at TenPehn restaurant taught by chef de cuisine Cliff Wharton. $75 includes food tastings with beer and sake pairings. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Call 202-393-1510.

TUESDAY: Fare and Wine From Around the World -- wine dinner at 321 Ashburn Bistro & Wine Bar. $80 excludes tax and tip. 7 p.m. 43135 Broadlands Center Plaza, Ashburn. Call 703-723-0703.

-- Terri Sapienza

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