Tuesday, July 07, 2009

A Real Boost

I like to sing but only when no one's listening. Do you know anyone like me? It's not really about the singing - but someone who is full of energy and confident of themselves when it's well, just them, but the second there are others around (hey, where'd you come from?!), it's all apologies so heavy you can see any confidence that had been there quickly draining away. I'll sing to my heart's content by myself but wouldn't be caught dead doing so in a room full of people (trust me, this is a good thing); insert the word "cook" in that same sentence, and that's how I feel about cooking and entertaining around 99% of the time.

"So you're saying there's a chance" (hope I quoted that correctly - I inherited the innate ability to misquote everything from my mother-so-dearest)

Enter this dish - it lives in that minuscule but crucial 1%. If you're at our house and I serve you something not showered with numerous comments on how I coulda-woulda-shoulda... you'll probably be about to dig into this Grilled Chicken and Strawberry Spinach Salad.

Grilled Chicken and Strawberry Spinach Salad

Marinated grilled chicken (see recipe below)
one large bunch of fresh spinach
1 pint fresh strawberries, washed and thinly sliced
Mrs. Barbin's dressing (see below)
crumbled blue cheese
mixed nuts (optional)

Marinated Grilled Chicken
3/8 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
2 1/4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 1/4 TBSP Dijon mustard
2 1/4 TBSP lemon juice
1 1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 chicken breast halves

Mix first 8 ingredients together in sealable container and add chicken breast halves. Let the chicken marinate for at an hour or more. Grill chicken until done basting with remaining marinade. Off the grill, let the chicken breasts rest briefly before slicing on the bias.

Mrs. Barbin's Dressing
6 TBSP red wine vinegar
6 TBSP sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper

Mix all ingredients together, whisking to thoroughly combine. Can make ahead and store in refrigerator; let come to room temperature for about 15 minutes and shake vigorously before serving.

Wash spinach and separate into equal portions on each of 4 entree-sized bowls or plates. Top with 1/4 of the sliced strawberries, grilled chicken, some blue cheese crumbles and the mixed nuts. Dress the salad and toss to evenly coat.

Sure, some might say that strawberry season is drawing to a close, but I plan on doing everything possible to make it last
(and not just because it's been one of my favorites). And after trying this salad, I'm confident that you'll be joining me in the effort.


  1. Oooh that sounds delish! And the chicken marinade sounds mmmmmmm good. Can't wait to give this dinner a whirl!

  2. Looks great - I love brown-sugar marinades! And I agree - it was a good year for strawberries.

    PS. How did you like the barbecue sauce?

  3. This looks awesome! What a perfect summery meal!

  4. doubt you'll find anyone who will turn this one down :) sounds great!


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