Grilled Chicken Salad with Asparagus, Grapefruit, Pecans, Cherries, Asiago, and Grapefruit-Honey Vinaigrette. Also!—How to Segment Citrus!

We hello good friends from Tumblr! It’s a gorgeous day and I’m feeling ridiculously good today. I apologize for my lack of posts (really, I do) but I have ZERO pots and pans at the moment and am very limited on equipment. This Monday, however, it’s pan shopping time. Also, I want to go to the cheese store, die, and go to heaven afterwards.

I do have a grill pan though! And after class yesterday I was ravenously craving grilled asparagus. I wanted to make something with the produce I already have at my house and this is what I came up with. As you probably can tell, I love a good salad. To me it’s a perfect lunch because it’s light and very refreshing (I do love myself a good sirloin burger though—don’t worry!). 

Within this post is also a tutorial on how to make 'grapefruit supreme'. What’s a supreme? Good question. It is when you use a knife to segment a citrus fruit, removing the skin, pith (the white spongey part), membrane, and seeds. This leaves you with these gorgeous, plump citrus segments just bursting with the pure flavor of the fruit. 

I hope you enjoy!

Please! Wash your greens! All your produce! Even wash your grapefruit because your knife will be touching every part of it. 

Trim the ends of the asparagus. They are somewhat woody and not fun to eat. You can do this with a knife, or you can do it the more classic way. Hold the spear with one hand on either tip and bend the spear down on both sides. The woody spear end should snap off, then you can trim the ragged edge (this will give you a higher yield). 

My chef at Ninety Acres taught me a wonderful tip as to how to supreme citrus. Use a filet knife (yes, like a fish filet knife). The blade of a filet knife is flexible. Grapefruit is a round fruit. See the connection yet? Imagine using a chef’s knife to do this task. You will not only waste the fruit but you will have ugly pieces that are uneven in size and have flat, uneven edges. The first step would be to cut the ends off, giving you a flat surface to work on.

Using the tip of the filet knife, carefully slice the skin and pith from the fruit. Try to start your knife as close to the pith as possible. This gives you that plump segment. Don’t worry if there is a little pith left (like mine does above). You can go back again and carefully remove those.

Then, remove the segments by slicing between the membranes. Again, try to slice as close to the membrane as possible, then ease the segment out of the fruit. While you do this, hold the fruit over the bowl because juice will drip out and we are going to use it to make our vinaigrette!

After you remove all of the segments you will be left with all of the unusable part of the fruit. Kidding! Squeeze all of the grapefruit juice into a bowl. Remove any seeds or membrane from the juice. Discard the grapefruit.

Now you have these perfectly plump, juicy grapefruit segments that will look perfect on your plate. You can use this technique with any citrus! 

The dressing is very simple to make as well. I used about 1.5T of the grapefruit juice and 2T of grapeseed oil. Slowly drizzle the oil into the juice while whisking to emulsify. Add honey to taste and a small pinch of salt. That’s it! If you think it needs more juice then go ahead and add it!

I grilled the chicken and asparagus in my handy-dandy grill pan (we can’t own a grill at this apartment complex) and then assembled my salad. 

One tip I find is handy is don’t just put all of your ingredients in a bowl and mix. I find that it makes a salad just ugly! Instead, toss the greens with your vinaigrette, plate, then add all of your ingredients on top (asparagus, chicken, segments, pecans, dried cherries, and asiago cheese). This makes a beautiful salad and won’t mess with the integrity of your ingredients.

My asparagus craving was completely satisfied with this salad. It had incredible flavor and I was able to utilize ingredients that were lying around the kitchen. See how beautiful and organized it looks? Just enough of every ingredient, not swamped in dressing, and those BEAUTIFUL citrus segments!

MMM.

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Tonight my guy is taking me to a Jazz Club and we are going to have an amazing night!! 

Shesalty OUT!

Thanks to Brian!

As most of you know, I am heartsick that my culinary BFF is gone. So one night I made this dish off of his blog (a blog that you should check out if you haven’t—www.brianthony.tumblr.com). You can find the recipe for this there! 

What you are drooling over know is a Pan-Fried Parmesan Chicken Cutlet with Arugula Salad, 2-Hour Slow Roasted Tomatoes, White Beans, and Garlic Toasted Bread. It was out of this world!

I am going to one of the best new restaurants in Minneapolis tomorrow.

Piccolo!

I. Can’t. WAIT!!!

Have a great day! Eat well. :D

Rachel

Healthy Salad!—Grilled Chicken, Roasted Red Beets, Goat Cheese, Pomegranate Seeds, Blackberries, and Balsamic.

Last night I made one of the greatest salads I have ever had. 

All with random ingredients in the house. Lot’s complementing flavors, nice and light, and healthy, too! 

If I can make this in 20 minutes so can you. Just follow this guide! 

Make sure to wash your greens! Even if they are pre-washed. 

Now, the most intimidating component—the beets. Roasting beets is easy! Smaller ones are easier. Just wrap in foil and roast at 400F until a knife slips out with ease. 

I actually found some cooked beets that weren’t in a can! They were in the produce section and sealed in an air-tight package. 

I cut the beets and soaked them in 4T balsamic vinegar while I made everything else. By doing this you add a little acidity to the beets (VERY delicious), and eventually I added 1T of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Once you add the oil, just give it a brief whisk with the beets and now you have a delicious balsamic-beet dressing. 

I actually threw the blackberries into the dressing too with the beets. By the time I ate the salad the blackberries were a little mushy—but in a really pleasant way. I think I’ll do that again next time. BUT WASH THEM FIRST. : ) 

The pomegranate seeds were in the fridge from the last dish I made. You can buy pomegranate seeds OR you can teach yourself an easy way to seed a pomegranate.

How to get the seeds out of a pomegranate—fill a mixing bowl with water. Wash the outside of the pomegranate (so you don’t contaminate the water). Chop the pomegranate into chunks and put them in the bowl. With your hands in the water, peel the segments open and ease the seeds out. The seeds will sink to the bottom and the pulp will float to the top. Simple! No salad is complete without a crunch. I love croutons don’t get me wrong! But the seeds were the perfect addition to this salad.

Get your grill hot. Season your chicken breast with salt and pepper. Grill until heavenly charred and cooked through. Rest 5 minutes before slicing! 

While the chicken is resting, give your dressing another quick whisk. Add the greens to the dressing bowl and toss. Plate. Top with chicken, goat cheese crumbles, and if you’re like me you’ll add some fresh ground pepper.

Then very simply—DEVOUR!

-Rachel

ramake89@aol.com