SUMMER RECIPE: GRILLED CHICKEN & PEACH SALAD WITH EVOO, BLACK OLIVES AND BASIL VINAIGRETTE

INGREDIENTS

Salt and ground black pepper
3 tablespoons sugar
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed1½ tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons minced or grated garlic (about 2 large cloves)
¼ cup finely chopped pitted Willow Creek black olives
½ cup finely chopped fresh basil
2/3 cup Willow Creek extra-virgin olive oil

METHOD

  1. PREPARE: -2 large red or yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into wide planks
    –4 ripe but firm medium peaches, halved and pitted
    – 6 cups (loosely packed) mixed torn salad greens or mesclun, preferably a combination of sharp- and mild-flavored, washed and dried
    – 2 cups mixed torn Italian parsley leaves and scallion greens sliced into ¾ lengths
  2.  In a large bowl, mix ‚ cup salt, sugar, and 6 cups water, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Submerge the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Rinse the chicken and dry well.
  3.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, olives, basil, ½ teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste. Vigorously whisk in 6 tablespoons olive oil (you should have about ¾ cup dressing). Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper if necessary. Set aside.
  4. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill on high for 15 minutes. (If using gas, adjust burners to medium-hot and grill with the lid closed.)
  5. In a medium bowl, toss the bell pepper planks with 1½ tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
  6. Brush the chicken breasts on both sides with 1½ tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle generously with black pepper.
  7. Clean and oil the grill grate with the neutral oil and grill the bell pepper planks, turning as necessary, and the chicken, undisturbed, until peppers are grill-marked and tender and chicken is grill-marked and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes, turning the chicken once (do not overcook). Remove the peppers and chicken from the grill and set aside to rest. (If using gas, adjust burners to medium and grill with the lid closed.)
  8. Brush the peach halves on both sides with the remaining olive oil and grill, cut side down, until grill-marked, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and grill the second side for about 2 minutes; remove the peaches from the grill. When cool, remove the skin if desired.
  9. Cut the peppers, chicken, and peaches into slices. Whisk the dressing in the large bowl to re-blend, pour half of it into another container, and set aside.
  10. Add the salad greens, peppers, and parsley and scallion greens mixture to the bowl, toss to coat and arrange in a bed on a large serving platter. Arrange the chicken and peaches on the greens, drizzle with the remaining dressing, and serve at once.

Serves 4