One of the benefits (and sometimes downfalls) of living in the South is a longer-than-expected Summer weather. This of course invites a longer-than-average grilling season. We typically don’t mind this part, though we’d appreciate a little fall weather to back up what the calendar is telling us. Thankfully the forecast is hinting we might be getting some lower temps this weekend!
Since we’re still lounging in the 90s (though we’re thankful it isn’t the 100s), I decided to fire up the grill for dinner tonight. We’re also trying to eat a little bit better here and there, but any ol’ boring salad won’t do. I like to make salads that are alive and exploding with flavor. Otherwise no one wants to eat them. That’s why there are so many memes about buying salad only to trash it later.
To be quite clear, I rarely, if ever, make sad salads. Mainly because I know I won’t even eat them. Just for the record… Lately we’ve been eating the mess out of arugula due to recipes calling for it. I buy the big containers because they’re only a dollar more and have a longer expiry time. We typically eat it all before then. Or freeze it. I would buy unpackaged, mind you, but it’s not readily available loose or in bunches in my area.
So having arugula already in my fridge, I only had to gather up a few more items to throw together this bright and fresh Citrus-Marinated Chicken and Orange Salad from Rachael Ray’s 365: No Repeats–A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners (A 30-Minute Meal Cookbook). I used to watch hours and hours of Rachael Ray’s cooking show in college, so she has a special place in my heart…
In my experience, Rachael Ray recipes entail laundry lists of ingredients. They’re always absolutely delicious, but wow! This one wasn’t too bad, however and utilized many ingredients common in any general pantry/fridge. Score one for Rach and this recipe since I had many of the ingredients already on hand. I only had to run to the market for fresh radicchio and arugula.
The shimmering acidity from the oranges and the crisp, astringent taste of the red onion were well tempered by earthy oregano and sweetness of the honey in the dressing. The bed of arugula and radicchio supported the citrusy grilled chicken without either overwhelming the other. The one alteration I would make would be to use lemons in place of oranges. I personally only care for oranges in their original form. I’ve seen alot of recipes use it as an “edgy” new replacement for lemons. I’m out on this. I’m not here for it. Bring back lemons, even Meyer lemons would be great!
Rach calls for some crusty bread to be served with the salad. I didn’t happen to have any crusty bread since I’ve gone gluten free. Gluten free crusty bread — GOOD gluten free crusty bread — is pretty impossible to fin, so I merely laid out 2 slices of Little Northern Bakehouse Sprouted Honey Oat bread on a sheet pan and sprayed them on both sides with Garlic Medium Heat MCT Sprayable Ghee on both sides and toasted them at 350° for 10min and then sliced the pices of bread in strips to sop up the dressing left over on the plate. So you could obviously do this with regular, glutinous sandwich bread.
What are some of your favorite salad fixins?
Current Reading: The Meat Racket: The Secret Takeover of America’s Food Business by Christopher Leonard