We are really enjoying our Sunday Salad dinners and this week we have one of my favorite combinations, a grilled chicken breast over a mixed romaine salad, with homemade buttermilk and herb dressing. Even better, we were able to garnish the salad with a few little tomatoes, straight from our garden. Yummy.
The chicken is very easy to prepare on an outdoor grill, but, if you find your gas tank empty, like we did today, the chicken cooks quickly in a skillet. The chicken is sautéed with olive oil, butter and fresh garlic, and only needs a generous sprinkle of pepper for seasoning.
The salad dressing is very easy to prepare and most of the ingredients you probably already have on hand. This dressing is almost a vinaigrette, but the buttermilk plus a touch of mayonnaise and Dijon mustard add a bit more body to the dressing and allows it to stick to the salad, without being too heavy. I love making homemade salad dressings because you can control the flavors to your own liking, and keep the sodium content much lower than the bottled dressings.
This is a very quick meal to assemble, which makes it ideal for an easy Sunday night dinner. If you blend the dressing ahead of time, the chicken and salad only take about 15 minutes to prepare. Enjoy!!
3 Whole Romaine Hearts, washed and chopped
2 cups Fresh Baby Spinach, washed
1-1/2 lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, about 3 or 4
1 TB Olive Oil
1 TB Salted Butter
1 TB Minced Fresh Garlic
1 cup Buttermilk
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
4 TB Red Wine Vinegar
2 TB Chopped Fresh Basil
1 TB Chopped Fresh Chives
2 TB Olive Oil
2 TB Light Mayonnaise
1 TB Dijon Mustard
2 tsp Minced Garlic
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Prepare the salad dressing at least one hour, or up to several hours, prior to serving to allow the flavors to fully blend. The longer it has to sit, the better the flavor will be.
In a glass bowl combine the buttermilk, Parmesan, vinegar, basil and chives, olive oil, mayonnaise, mustard and garlic. Use a whisk to stir the dressing, whisking until the olive oil is fully combined. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Prepare the romaine and spinach, place in a large bowl and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 3 minutes until lightly browned.
Slice the chicken breasts horizontally to create thin fillets. Add the chicken to the skillet and sauté for 4 minutes, turn the chicken over and cook for 4 minutes longer, or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and rest for 5 minutes.
Pour half of the salad dressing over the romaine and spinach, stir to combine, then divide the salad among each of the dinner plates. (To keep the salad nice and cold, chill the plates in the refrigerator for one hour.)
Slice the chicken breasts for each plate, place the chicken on top of the salad and garnish with fresh cherry tomatoes, a few croutons and a generous sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper. Serve the remaining dressing on the side. Serves 6 - 8.