Thursday, August 8, 2013

Summer Salad of Grilled Chicken over Baby Spinach with Crispy Leeks and Pancetta


I know it is common knowledge, but I have to state the obvious--Florida summers can be brutally hot (like, frying pan to the face, hot). This is one of the reasons I look for ways to create fresh, light meals--dinners I can put together with out a lot of fuss or extra heat waves. One of the easiest ways to do that is to make a salad, and I am a big fan of salads (and staying cool). I don't like to be hot when I eat and I certainly don't want to eat hot food when I am hot so, I play around with different salads all summer. This one was fast, simple and super flavorful. 

Ingredients:

8 oz.  Package Baby Spinach and Arugula Mix
1 lb Organic Chicken Breast (trimmed and grilled)
1 Large Avocado
1 Large Heirloom Tomato (or 3/4 cup Baby Heirloom Tomatoes)
1/2 Cup Organic Goat Cheese
2 Hard Boiled Eggs
1/2 Cup Crispy Leeks (bunch of 3 leeks before cooking)
1/2 Cup Crispy Pancetta (about 6-7oz. package)
Olive Oil

Serves 3 or 4. 
(Leave out the goat cheese to make it Paleo.)



Take the goat cheese out to let it soften. Then begin with the pancetta, it should be very thinly sliced. Cut the pancetta into 1/4" pieces. I stack it up and cut through it together so that the pieces are even.  Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook until the pancetta is crispy and browned, remove from pan and set aside. Pancetta doesn't usually produce much grease, but if there is- drain and return the pan to the heat.

For the leeks, slice thin rings up until where the white portion ends. Remove the hard center portion and discard it. Heat the olive oil in the pan you cooked the pancetta in, and saute until crispy and brown. Set aside.

Season and grill the chicken, chop avocado and tomatoes to desired size. 

Layer the Baby Spinach and Arugula mixture on the bottom, add the chicken, tomatoes and avocado. Crumble the goat cheese and finish with the crispy leeks and pancetta. There is so much flavor in this salad, you really don't need a dressing. I chose a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a quick twist of freshly ground sea salt, which simply compliments the essence of each component.



What is your favorite summer salad?


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