Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Even Better than the Real Thing

Another vacation, another salad week. This one a little more indulgent (the vacation, and the salad). We spent a week in San Francisco with family, and it was like a 'Best Of' tour of the city. I lived there for a while once upon a time, and the city as a whole holds a special place in my heart. We shopped, went to wine country, had a fire on the beach, and we ate. And ate. And ate. I'm needing a cleanse week now more than ever. Unfortunately, as soon as we got back I worked for 2 days and then we celebrated DP's birthday. So now it's salad week, one week later.

This salad I actually made a couple of weeks before we went on vacation. I liked the idea of the lightly sauteed lettuce, and all the components of the BLT except not in a sandwich (I'm not a huge fan of sandwiches). I really like grilled lettuce, and I wondered if lettuce cooked in another manner would be as appealing. It was! This was great--the chicken crispy, the salad wilty and delicious, and the mayonnaise a nice, citrousy accompaniment. I'll definitely be making it in salad weeks to come, and I'll be sharing this weeks salads in later posts!

*Photo courtesy of DP

Deconstructed BLT
from Bon Appetit

1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use canola oil mayo, you could certainly use low-fat for a lighter salad)
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp lemon zest
5 slices center cut bacon
4 large plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 tsp ground cumin
1 5-ounce package mixed baby greens
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 cup panko

Mix first three ingredients in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper.

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp, crumble and set aside. Add tomatoes and cumin to bacon fat, cook 2 minutes. Add greens, toss until just wilted, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with red wine vinegar, toss to blend, season with salt and pepper. Add bacon to greens.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Place panko in shallow dish, sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper, press into panko to coat both sides. Place on jelly roll pan and cook in oven until meat thermometer reaches 165 F, around 35 minutes.

Divide greens evenly among 4 dishes. Top each with 1 chicken breast, and 2 tablespoons mayonnaise. I also had some extra roasted cherry tomatoes, so we threw those on top (roasted in 400 degree oven, tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, for 20 minutes or until soft).