Grilled Chicken Salad with Tomatoes, Spinach, and Dijon Vinaigrette
Hearty enough to serve as a main course salad for lunch or supper, this salad is also delicious piled on a toasted baguette and served as an open-faced sandwich. You can prepare the salad a day in advance by combining everything except the spinach, tomatoes, and basil. Refrigerate, then toss with the remaining ingredients just before serving. This can also be made with roasted or poached chicken, if you are using leftover or purchased cooked chicken. Another make-ahead tip is a method we use at the Market: layer the spinach and tomatoes rather than tossing them; the salad will hold up better and look fresher longer.
Serves 6 to 8
Safflower oil or canola oil, for oiling the grill
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 3 pounds)
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced scallions
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1½ cups Dijon Vinaigrette
6 plum tomatoes, cored and quartered
2 ribs celery, cut on a diagonal into ¼-inch slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 cups firmly packed spinach, washed, drained, and stems removed
8 fresh basil leaves, cut into very thin strips (chiffonade)
1. Brush the grill grates lightly with the safflower oil. Prepare a hot fire in a gas or charcoal grill.
2. Toss the chicken with the olive oil, parsley, scallions, and mustard in a shallow bowl and let marinate 30 to 40 minutes at the room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.
3. Grill the chicken, turning once, 7 to 8 minutes per side, until the breasts feel firm to the touch and the juices run clear when pierces in the thickest part with a knife. Set aside to cool, 20 to 30 minutes.
4. Slice the chicken breasts on the diagonal into ¼-inch-thick slices, 8 to 10 slices per breast.
5. Combine the chicken, vinaigrette, tomatoes, and celery in a medium bowl and toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, toss with the spinach and basil.