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Grilled Chicken and Summer Squash Salad

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Serves 4

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 111

Grilled chicken breasts, summer squash, and baby arugula meet a spicy lime-cilantro dressing in this fresh take on chicken salad.

  • 1 large clove garlic, mashed to a paste with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice and 2 tsp. finely grated zest (from 1 lime)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped jalapeño (seeded if you like; about 1/2 a jalapeño)
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 lb. mixed summer squash, such as zucchini, yellow zucchini, and yellow squash, sliced 3/4 inch thick on an extreme angle (about 3 medium)
  • 1-1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to an even thickness
  • 5 oz. baby arugula
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Prepare a medium-high gas or charcoal grill fire.

Put the garlic paste, oil, lime juice and zest, cilantro, ginger, jalapeño, sugar, and 1 tsp. salt in a small jar with a lid. Shake to emulsify. Put the squash and chicken on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette, and toss to coat. Grill on both sides until the squash is barely tender and the chicken is just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool briefly.

Meanwhile, toss the arugula in a large bowl with 1/4 cup of the vinaigrette and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Divide among 4 plates.

Cut the squash and chicken into bite-size pieces. Put them in the bowl and toss with the remaining vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste. Use a slotted spoon to divide the mixture among the plates.

Serving Suggestions

Grilled Peaches with Raspberry Butter and Cookie Crumbs are a perfect finish for this salad.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 600; Fat (g): fat g 47; Fat Calories (kcal): 410; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 4.5; Protein (g): protein g 37; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 28; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 10; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 13; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 520; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 95; Fiber (g): fiber g 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This was a bit more work than I was looking for on a busy weeknight (a lot of chopping), but it was delicious in the end so I can't complain. I broiled the chicken and squash, which was ok. I think it would have been even better on the grill. The dressing/marinade is really zesty and delicious. It would be good with chicken thighs too.

This gets 5 stars if you add a good vinegar to the dressing. I embellished with TJ's Orange Muscat Champagne vinegar. All the rest of the ingredients are wonderful together.

I made it for dinner. It was super light and fresh.

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