Our grill died. It was not a death with drama (no flames, no explosion); the poor thing just faded away, perhaps from working too hard, and because we're planning to move later this year, my husband Ted and I decided to face this summer without a grill. Instead, I've been using my panini press, and that's how I grilled the chicken, zucchini halves, and nectarine chunks for this salad. A cast iron stovetop grill pan would work just as well. First, cook the chicken breasts, and while they are resting, throw the zucchini and nectarine cut side down on the hot grill and sear them until you have nice grill marks, just about two or three minutes. Chop everything into same-size chunks, and tie it all together with honey-lime dressing you can make far in advance. The warm chicken and vegetables will help to wilt the spinach leaves a bit, without rendering them a soggy mess. Peaches make a fine substitute for nectarines, and yellow or patty pan squash can stand in for zucchini. You can use shrimp in place of chicken, too. This is a great salad for picnics or potlucks.
Grilled chicken, zucchini and nectarine spinach salad with honey-lime dressing
From the pantry, you'll need: chicken breasts, honey, lime, olive oil, kosher salt, fresh black pepper.
Serves 2; can be multiplied.
For the dressing:
2 Tbsp honey
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp olive oil
Pinch each of kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
For the salad:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
1 nectarine, cut into large slices
2-3 cups baby spinach leaves
In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine all of the dressing ingredients. Shake the jar vigorously until everything is combined and the dressing has thickened. Set aside.
Heat a panini press or grill pan to high heat. Drizzle the chicken breasts with olive oil, salt and pepper, and grill until cooked through, approximately 8 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chicken. Remove from the press and set aside.
Place the zucchini halves and chunks of nectarine cut side down on the grill, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until just lightly marked from the grill. Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle.
Cut the chicken, zucchini and nectarine into chunks. Arrange half of the spinach in each of two individual bowls, and top with a scattering of chicken, zucchini and nectarine. Drizzle each portion with honey-lime dressing.
Serve at room temperature or chilled.
More ideas for surviving zucchini season:
Zucchini ribbon salad
Zucchini, bacon and feta quiche
Refrigerator zucchini pickles
Slow cooker quinoa with zucchini, mushrooms and chicken sausage
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Honey chipotle chicken bowls, from How Sweet It Is
Honey lime chicken skewers, from Kitchen Meets Girl
Chicken with lime and honey, from My Colombian Recipes
Sticky lime and ginger chicken stir-fry, from Very Culinary
Cashew chicken mango salad, from Iowa Girl Eats
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Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.