I just got back from visiting the Portland Farmers’ Market at Portland State University. There was such an abundance of fresh, picture perfect zucchini, everywhere I went. Luckily, I am able to get decent zucchini at my local Trader Joe’s. This dish requires 2 pounds of this wonderful vegetable. In fact, this recipe could be made totally vegetarian by omitting the chicken. It is soaked for a couple of hours in a marinade of olive oil, garlic, cumin, lemon zest and lemon juice. The salad also has the flavors of peppery arugula and sweet raisins with the crunch of pine nuts. I modified Armand Arnal’s recipe in Food and Wine, April 2009, to suit my tastes and cooking style. If you are looking for a “summery” meal with only 6 minutes of cooking time, try this delicious and healthy dish!
- ⅓ cup raisins
- ¼ cup organic extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- ⅛ teaspoon organic ground cumin
- Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 3 medium zucchini (2 pounds), cut into 3x½-inch sticks
- ¼ medium onion, finely chopped
- 12 frozen chicken breast tenderloins, thawed
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 cups lightly packed baby arugula leaves
- Using a small bowl, cover the raisins with hot water for about 10 minutes to soften. Drain.
- In a large glass bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, juice of 1 lemon, scant ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add zucchini and raisins. Toss thoroughly and set aside at room temperature for 2 hours. Stir occasionally.
- Using a shallow glass or ceramic dish, mix together the onion, 2 tablespoons olive oil and juice of second lemon. Add chicken tenderloins and completely coat with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for an hour, turning a few times.
- Using a small nonstick pan, toast pine nuts over moderate heat, until golden brown, tossing occasionally for about 2 minutes. Transfer to small dish and let cool.
- Scrape off the onion on the chicken tenderloins. In a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat, add the chicken, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and cook until lightly browned for about 3 minutes. Turn meat over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Slice the tenderloins on the bias, making thin strips.
- Serve on a large platter or on 4 individual plates, add arugula and marinated zucchini. Then add the chicken slices. Finally, sprinkle with raisins and pine nuts. Serve immediately. 4 servings.