July 13, 2009

Pesto Chicken Picnic Salad

I went to the Hollywood Bowl over the weekend for a wonderful concert series and threw together this delicious and simple picnic salad to enjoy as the main course. This dish could serve up to 4 adults.

1 cup of fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 cup of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1/3 cup of raw pine nuts
1/3 cup of freshly grated parmesan reggiano
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped into bite sizes
1 red bell pepper, chopped into bite sizes
1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup of walnuts, toasted

To make the dressing, place the first seven ingredients and some salt and pepper into a blender and start blending on a slow speed. As the ingredients start to come together, drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing is well incorporated. Taste the dressing and make any necessary adjustments. The dressing might taste very tangy from the red wine vinegar, but once it is mixed with the other ingredients, it will become a very subtle flavor. Place the dressing in a container if you are taking it to a picnic.

In a non-stick skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook in the skillet until no longer pink. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the skillet and let it cool to room temperature.

Chop the lettuce, bell pepper and onion and mix together on the cutting board.

Grab a large container if you are taking the salad to a picnic and place the chicken at the bottom and the vegetable mixture in the middle topped with the toasted walnuts. Be sure to leave some room at the top of the container so you can simply add the dressing and shake the container to mix the salad.


Chef E said...

I love pesto and this sounds like a good recipe to use it...summer and its abundance of basil and other herbs makes it such a fresh choice too!

Miranda said...

This looks fantastic. I bet it would be wonderful on a cresent with lettuce, tomato, and some red onion.
Love it!
Thanks for sharing

doggybloggy said...

great salad -

Bergamot said...

Looks delicious...love the pesto.

Miranda said...

haha...I am back. I just want to thank you for visiting and good luck on the giveaway.