Wilted Tomato-Basil Salad with Grilled Chicken
I am not a big fan of overly written writing – writing that is packed with lofty or misplaced adjectives in an attempt at being artful. For instance, sentences like, “The heirloom tomato was so ripe that it tasted of the summer.”
Admittedly, I am not a meteorologist but I bet if you walked outside in the middle of July and stuck your tongue out into the air that you would taste absolutely nothing….because summer has no taste.
With all of that said, there are always exceptions to the rule. And this recipe for Wilted Tomato-Basil Salad with Grilled Chicken could be the exception – cause, it tastes just like summer, yall! What? I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s bright, flavorful and has the ease of a lazy summer day.
It’s not a complicated dish. There’s tomatoes, basil, garlic, onion and chicken. That’s it. The trick to the salad is in mixing the ingredients in the proper order. The garlic, onion and basil go in the bowl first, followed by a little salt, followed by the salted tomatoes. And then you just let the whole thing hangout on the countertop.
Here’s the theory behind my madness. The salt breaks down the onion and garlic – which in turn helps them release their juices. The salt on the tomatoes pulls out their moisture. As it drips on the onion and garlic, the acid of the tomato juice continues breaking down the garlic and onion. At the bottom of the bowl your left with this delicious mixture of garlicky tomato juice – just stir in some olive oil and you got yourself a beautiful vinaigrette.
At the heart of this dish are the fresh, ripe tomatoes – which makes it the perfect dish for closing out the first week of the Westchester Farmers’ Market Blog-a-Thon. If you are new to the blog, here’s the scoop on the ‘Blog-a-Thon.”
Some of Westchester County’s coolest food bloggers are banding together to launch this week-long effort. Throughout the week, participating bloggers will publish delish recipes that are made primarily with ingredients purchased at one of Westchester’s many farmers’ markets. (Westchester is a suburb of New York City).
In addition to recipes, each blog will spotlight a local market by providing photographs of the market and the available produce, as well as provide details on the market’s location and hours of operation. The objective is twofold – first, enjoy and share delicious recipes with fresh and healthy ingredients; and secondly, to support local sustainable farmers.
The following Westchester bloggers are participating in the week-long effort (click the links and check them out):
On Sunday, I checked out the Rye New York farmer’s market.
It’s a great market with a mix of farmers/vendors: produce, breads, meats and diary among other things. The tomatoes in today’s salad come from Newgate Farm. If you get a chance to go to the Rye market, check them out. They have an amazing variety of fresh fruits, veggies and herbs. The address and hours of operation for the market is listed below.
WILTED TOMATO-BASIL SALAD WITH GRILLED CHICKEN
1 garlic clove, thinly cut
¼ cup red onion, sliced paper thin
10 basil leaves
6 small yellow tomatoes, halved
8 grape tomatoes, halved
1 medium tomato cut into wedges
2 TBL extra virgin olive oil
1 split, chicken breast, pounded 1/2” thick
Place the garlic, sliced onion, half of the basil leaves in the bottom of a medium sized bowl. Sprinkle with a dash of salt. Without stirring the onion mixture, add the tomatoes to the bowl. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, grilled flattened chicken breast on a hot and oil grill (or on stovetop with a grilled pan). Grill until chicken is cooked through – about 4 minutes per side. Once cooked, set chicken aside and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, add extra virgin olive oil to the bowl of sliced tomatoes and stir. Salt and pepper to taste.
Slice breast into 1” strips.
Plate chicken strips and tomatoes on two plates and serve.