The idea of "salad for dinner" used to sound bland to me. I have to say that has completely changed over the last 12-18 months as I've explored some great warm salad ideas. This meal was so easy to put together, had a great mix of sweet, salty and peppery flavours with a basil pesto punch coming through the dressing. The crunchy, squeaky (haloumi) and soft (chicken) textures completed it. Nom.
For the Balsamic Chicken
- 1 large chicken breast, diced
- 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- salt and pepper
For the salad
- 6 asparagus spears, woody ends removed, chopped into approximately 1 inch slices
- 1/3 of a red onion, sliced into thin rounds, then quartered
- 2 handfuls rocket and baby spinach mix
- 1/2 an avocado, diced
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
- 90g haloumi, sliced into 1cm wide slices.
For the Balsamic Pesto dressing
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp basil pesto
You could change the dressing any way you see fit. If you don't have time to marinate the chicken, you could even use the same ratio of ingredients in the marinade to make a dressing. Of course tweak the salad ingredients to whatever you love most.
- Marinate the chicken for at least 1 hour in the fridge
- Plate rocket and spinach, red onion, sun dried tomatoes and avocado
- Pan fry chicken, haloumi and asparagus until cooked. The chicken is cooked when it is white all the way through. Haloumi is cooked when it is browned on both sides and can be assisted with a squeeze of lemon juice on top at the end, but this is not necessary. Asparagus is best checked through taste but will go darker as it cooks - takes about 5 mins approx. on medium heat, but check that it is cooked and not crunchy by tasting before plating.
- Add cooked ingredients
- Top with dressing and enjoy!
My Take Aways
We have fallen in love with warm salads. This one was so quick to do that I didn't get time to take photos of each step. The dressing is fairly minimal which is just intended to be drizzled. You will need to make more if you like a fair bit of dressing. We loved this and will be making it fairly regularly as a simple weeknight meal or a nice lunch for guests on the weekend. Enjoy!