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July 27, 2014

Grilled chicken, zucchini and nectarine spinach salad with honey-lime dressing {gluten-free}

Grilled chicken, zucchini and nectarine spinach salad, tossed with honey-lime dressing. #glutenfree

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 chunks of chicken, zucchini and nectarine, with honey-lime dressing. #glutenfree

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.

Ingredients

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

Directions

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.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More ideas for surviving zucchini season:
Zucchini ribbon salad
Zucchini, bacon and feta quiche
Refrigerator zucchini pickles
Zucchini waffles
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

Need more creative ideas for using zucchini? Get 23 Zucchini, my e-book packed with fantastic recipes, full-color photos and a few fun videos. With the FREE Kindle Reading app, delicious zucchini recipes will always be just one click away on any computer, tablet or smart phone. Click here to learn more.

Grilled chicken, zucchini and nectarine spinach salad, picnic perfect. #glutenfree

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Comments

Lydia,
I am waiting for our grill to die. We purchased it 10 years ago primarily because we were ready to try a propane grill and we needed to be able to lift said grill in and out of our tiny shed.
For so many years I hated grilling using a creme brûlée torch equivalent for fuel, but now we're really cooking. And I'm aware of the compromises we made to be able to lift a grill in and out of a shed. The shed is back in Virginia, and we live in Ohio now. When this grill dies, I hope to get a larger one that has enough room to grill all that I want.
I think this salad's flavors are brilliant, and how clever of you to do it all on the stove top!
Thanks!

Kirsten, I really miss the grill, and as soon as we move we'll buy a new one (and then I'll be asking for recommendations, as our last one didn't last long enough). Nothing replaces the flavor of food cooked on the grill. (And I can just imagine how good all of your pizzas would be on the grill, too.)

Oh I've been thinking grilled peaches and sweet-savory salads! This one is wonderful and I love the touch of honey in the dressing!

Gorgeous and delicious salad, Lydia! Wow, you're leaving your log cabin ... I will miss it! Our grill is on the fritz. Hubby is supposed to fix it, but it's old and not the best. I'd rather just pass it on or let it go to grill heaven. We happily use our grill all the time at our mountain property though. :-)

Shirley

Jamie, I love grilled peaches, and they would be perfect in this salad.

Shirley, grill heaven must be a crowded place. I'll be buying a new one next summer, for sure.

If there is any way you can add it to the renovations, have a natural gas line put out to the deck and get a natural gas grill. I had one at my old house, and seeing the gas line to the deck was one of the deciding factors in the new house decision. So wonderful to never have to worry about gas for the grill.

The salad sounds wonderful. I love that the nectarines are grilled as well!

Kalyn, I love that your grill is fed with a gas line from the house. It's not something we can do, so I'll have to find a new grill to love.

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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