A Colorful Summer Salad for Memorial Day Picnics

A Colorful Summer Salad for Memorial Day Picnics

May 17, 2019

As temperatures heat up and local produce becomes abundant, summertime calls for light, easy dishes with a focus on fresh ingredients. No one wants to spend hot summer days slaving over the stove, but you also don’t want to get into a rut with sad salads that lack flavor and complexity. What can you serve when you want a dish that's easy, colorful, and makes the most of the season's bounty?

We’ve found the perfect solution in the vibrant recipe below, which focuses on early summer produce and gives you an excuse to get out of the kitchen and fire up the grill. An added bonus: it’s hearty enough to serve at seasonal get-togethers, like a Memorial Day Picnic with family and friends. Loaded up with grilled chicken, bright berries, fresh herbs, and a flavor-packed dressing, you’ll be craving this salad all summer long.

Grilled Chicken & Summer Berry Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
Serves 4

Herb Chicken Breast
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs
2 cloves minced garlic
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
Crushed red pepper to taste
Salt & pepper to taste 

1. Select and chop your herbs. You can choose whatever looks freshest at the farmer’s market, but we love classic picks like rosemary, parsley, and thyme.
2. Season chicken generously with salt, pepper, and red pepper to taste. Sprinkle both sides with plenty of herbs and garlic, and then drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Pop the seasoned chicken into the fridge while you heat up the grill.
3. Turn on the grill and oil the grate to prevent sticking.

4. Grill chicken until cooked through (cooking time will depend on your grill and the size of the chicken breasts). Once cooked, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and set aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Toasted Almonds
2 cups sliced almonds
1 tablespoon butter
Salt to taste

1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

2. Add sliced almonds to the skillet with a pinch of salt. Stir almonds occasionally until they become golden and fragrant (about 5 minutes), watching carefully so they don't burn. Set aside to cool.

Basil Vinaigrette
(Adapted from two peas & their pod)
1 cup fresh basil leaves
½ clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Preparing the Salad
6 cups fresh greens
2 cups fresh strawberries
2 avocados
Herb chicken breast
1 cup feta
Toasted almonds
Basil vinaigrette

1. Select your greens, rinse, and dry thoroughly. Choose whatever looks freshest at your farmer’s market—we love this salad with butter lettuce or a classic spring mix. Place in a large, shallow bowl.

2. Rinse, hull, and slice strawberries lengthwise. Slice avocados. Slice chicken breast.

3. Arrange strawberries, avocado slices, and chicken breast atop salad greens. Sprinkle with feta and toasted almonds.

4. Just before serving, drizzle with basil vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

What are you cooking this summer? Share your favorite seasonal recipes in the comments!

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