Do you really need a recipe for a salad? Probably not, but I cut this recipe out from an old Gourmet (April 2006) magazine and came upon it recently when I was cleaning out my files. I can’t tell you how many torn and tattered recipes I tossed, but this was one I held on to. Today I was having a friend for lunch and I wanted something light and easy and this certainly fit the bill. Luckily there was enough for J. to partake and he pronounced this as the best salad I’ve ever made, with the flavor of each and every ingredient standing out and making an impression.
Insalata di Pollo
4 cups (1/2″) cubes Italian bread (from a crusty round loaf)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken (you can poach a few breasts, or use a rotisserie one)
1 cup bocconcini (small mozzarella balls)
2 hearts of romaine, torn into bite-size pieces
1-(8 oz.) jar roasted peppers, cut into 1/4″ wide strips
1 cup assorted marinated brine-cured olives
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss bread cubes with oil and salt and spread out on a baking sheet. Bake, turning over once until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes.
Whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl, except oil, until combined. Add oil in a slow steady stream, whisking until emulsified.
Toss chicken and bocconcini together with 1/4 cup of vinaigrette in a bowl and let stand 10 minutes to allow flavors to develop.
Toss together romaine, red peppers, olives, chicken and bocconcini mixture, croutons and remaining vinaigrette in a large bowl until combined.
I added toasted pine nuts and used red bell peppers that I had grilled, peeled and tossed with olive oil and slivered garlic. Use the best quality extra-virgin olive oil that you have-this really makes a difference!