Chicken Salad with Zucchini and Pine Nuts

Chicken Salad with Zucchini and Pine Nuts Recipe

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!

Chicken Salad with Zucchini and Pine Nuts Recipe


  • 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


  1. Using a small bowl, cover the raisins with hot water for about 10 minutes to soften. Drain.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Chicken Salad with Zucchini and Pine Nuts

Chicken Salad with Zucchini and Pine Nuts


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