Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How to Turn Salad into Dinner

Today's recipe is as easy to follow as it is delicious.  There is no measuring involved which is the way I like my recipes.  I'm not sure what to call this dish since I made it up.  How about: Grilled Chicken Cesar Salad with Pesto Pasta and Sun Dried Tomatoes.  That's kind of a long name but it pretty much has everything covered.  

Grilled Chicken Cesar Salad with Pesto Pasta and Sun Dried Tomatoes


1lb. or so of boneless chicken breast tenders 
Bag of mixed salad greens, baby arugula, baby spinach, whatever you prefer 
Bow tie pasta (less than a pound)
Cesar salad dressing (feel free to make your own, I love Newman's Own)
Pesto (homemade - recipe here or store bought) 
Oil packed sun dried tomatoes, chopped 
Fresh mozzarella cubed, fresh grated Parmesan, again whatever you prefer
Toasted pine nuts 


Put a pot of salted water on to boil for the bow tie pasta. Lightly season the chicken tenders with salt and pepper.  I also like to use a bit of Herbs de Provence to season the chicken.  I cook the chicken in a cast iron grill pan but if you don't own a grill pan I'm sure you an cook the chicken in a saute pan.  While the chicken is grilling toss pasta in boiling water.  Once cooked through, remove the chicken tenders from heat and slice.  Set aside.  When pasta is cooked, strain and toss with pesto.  Set Aside. Toss salad greens with Cesar dressing.  Assemble salad as follows: first add dressed salad greens to plate, then top with pasta, next chicken, and finally sun dried tomatoes, cheese and pine nuts. From start to finish this meal takes no more than 20 minutes to prepare.