1. ROSEMARY, CHICKEN, BACON AND AVOCADO SALAD
4 slices thick-cut bacon
1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
6 cups spring greens and/or butter lettuce
1 bunch watercress
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 large avocado, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
salt and pepper
Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the bacon. Cook until it's crispy and the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon and place it on a paper towel to drain any excess grease.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cover with the rosemary. In the same skillet, over medium-high heat, add the chicken and cook until golden and crisp on both sides, about 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and let sit for a moment while you assemble the salad, then slice it.
Toss the greens with the watercress and the tomatoes. Top with the sliced chicken, the bacon and the avocado. Drizzle with the rosemary vinaigrette!
Whisk together the mustard, oil and vinegar. Whisk in the rosemary and a pinch of salt and pepper.
2. APPLE CRANBERRY SPINACH SALAD WITH PECANS AND AVOCADOS
10 oz fresh baby spinach (about 10 cups of torn leaves)
1 Granny Smith apple, sliced
1 Gala apple, sliced
1 or 2 avocados, sliced
1 cup pecan halves
2 whole fresh mandarin oranges, peeled; or 1 can of mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Marzetti® Simply Dressed® Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
Chop 1/4 cup of pecan halves into smaller bites - set aside.
In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients except for 1/4 cup of chopped pecan halves.
Drizzle the salad with the dressing and toss. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top of the salad. Serve immediately.
3. SPRING SALD WITH ASPARAGUS, GOAT CHEESE, LEMON AND HAZELNUTS
1 bunch of asparagus, on the thin side but thick enough to cut in half lengthwise.
1 cup fresh peas, or frozen and defrosted
½ cup of cooked and prepped fava beans, you could use frozen defrosted lima beans
5 radishes, thinly sliced
2 medium raw zucchini made into ribbons with a vegetable peeler, (no seeds)
½ bunch of red leaf lettuce chopped bite size and a generous handful of arugula mixed together or combination of salad greens of your choice
4 oz. of chevre goat cheese, I used the one with honey
the zest of one lemon, you can cut up a few slices for garnish after
½ cup of toasted hazelnuts, slightly cracked open
shaved Parmigiano Reggiano for top of salad
extra lemons for dressing
Roast your asparagus on a sheet pan drizzled with olive oil for maybe 5 or 10 minutes on 375 just until the raw taste is gone, you don't want limp asparagus they should still have a good bite to them, so keep checking. Cool them off and them slice them lengthwise.
Make a lemon and olive oil dressing using 2 parts fresh lemon juice to 4 parts olive oil.
In a bowl mash up your goat cheese and loosen it up with 2 tablespoons of the lemon dressing.
Gently toss and coat sliced asparagus into the mixture, adding salt and pepper to taste.
On a large platter assemble the greens, peas, fava beans, radishes, zucchini ribbons all over ending with the goat cheese coated asparagus on top.
Sprinkle the toasted nuts all around.
Spoon lemon dressing all around, as much as you think you need.
Add shavings of Parmiggiano Reggiano on top.
Garnish with a few lemon slices.
4. PEACH SALAD WITH GRILLED BASIL CHICKEN AND WHITE-BALSAMIC-HONEY VINAIGRETTE
Grilled Basil Chicken
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing grill
1/3 cup slightly packed chopped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 oz Spring Mix lettuce
1 lb peaches, sliced (about 3 small)
2 ears corn, husked and kernels cut from cob
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 small red onion, sliced thin (about 3/4 cup), rinse under water to remove harsh bite
4 oz Goat cheese, crumbled
For the chicken:
In a small mixing bowl whisk together olive oil, basil, garlic, and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp of each). Using the back of a spoon, press basil against sides and bottom of bowl (to help extract flavor from basil). Place chicken in a resealable bag and pound thicker parts of chicken to even thickness with a meat mallet, then pour basil mixture over chicken and evenly distribute basil over chicken. Seal bag while pressing excess air out, rub marinade over chicken and transfer to refrigerator and marinate 2 - 5 hours.
Preheat a grill to 425 - 450 degrees over medium high heat. Brush grill grates lightly with olive oil then place chicken on grill. Grill until cooked through, rotating once halfway through cooking, about 4 - 5 minutes per side (chicken should register 165 degrees in center of chicken on an instant read thermometer). Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes then slice into strips or dice into cubes.
For the vinaigrette:
Whisk together all ingredients until well blended and season with salt and pepper to taste. Store in refrigerator until ready to use, stir again before pouring over salad.
For the salad:
In a large salad bowl gently toss together lettuce, peaches, corn, pecans, onions, and grilled chicken. Sprinkle goat cheese over top and drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve immediately after adding dressing.