Market Fruit Salad w/grilled chicken

Farmers' Market Fruit Salad with grilled chicken, candied nuts, blue cheese and golden balsamic vinaigrette

Farmers’ markets are in full summer swing and these two salads are hearty enough to enjoy as a main course, but also chock-full of fresh seasonal fruits or veggies. The variety of produce varies from one market to another, so use your imagination to concoct your own version of these dishes. For example, I intended to use some beautiful yellow peaches I’d picked up at the market, but once cut, they did not seem to hold up nearly as well as the firmer nectarines, so I switched out the fruits before even writing up the recipe! I would also recommend doubling the candied nut recipe. They disappear quickly when left unattended!

(Serves 4)

INGREDIENTS

1-2 heads (depending on size) butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces (save some large leaves for lining the bowl)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, grilled and cut into small bites (grill ahead of time and cool)

4 ounces bleu cheese, cut into cubes (if possible), or crumbled

4 ounces white cheddar or Dubliner, cut into small cubes

1 cup seedless green grapes, cut in half lengthwise

1 cup Queen Anne cherries, pitted and cut in half (My aunt always used a hair pin to pit the cherries, but you can cut the cherry in half and pop the pit out with your fingers, or use a cherry pitting gadget available at some kitchen stores.)

2 nectarines, sliced

2 avocados, cubed

½ cup candied nuts (recipe below)

1 recipe golden balsamic dressing (recipe below)

DIRECTIONS

To serve, line a large glass salad bowl with butter lettuce leaves.  Place torn lettuce in bottom of bowl and arrange nectarine slices around edge of bowl.  Toss remaining ingredients together in a separate bowl with dressing, and transfer into the salad bowl, surrounded by lettuce leaves and nectarines.  Serve!

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