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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  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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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts

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The other day, I received a request from one of my readers for more Brussels, so here it is! I got my inspiration from Nicolas Jammet, Food and Wine, February 2011. I simplified the recipe without sacrificing the taste! The only ingredient that I needed to buy was the Brussels sprouts. According to the recipe, Brussels sprouts have very little pesticide residue, even when not using the organic produce. I hope you all enjoy these yummy sprouts!

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 Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon organic honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon chile powder
  • ⅓ cup dried organic cranberries
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using a pie plate, spread pines and toast for about 2 minutes, until golden brown.
  2. In a large bowl, toss Brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil. Season with salt and pepper.  Spread sprouts on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 12 minutes, until lightly brown and tender.
  3. Using a small bowl, whisk  together lemon juice, honey, mustard, cayenne and chili powder. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together the sprouts, pine nuts and cranberries.
  5. Using a small nonstick frying pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and lightly brown the garlic. Scrape the garlic and oil and add to the bowl with the Brussels sprouts. Toss with salad dressing and serve immediately. Serves 4.

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