Back to the Burbs & Chicken Parmigiana with Spaghetti Marinara

Like all good things, summer must end. When we were kids, that meant packing up the station wagon and heading back to the burbs. As sad as my sister, brother and I were to see Labor Day come around, I think our return hit my mother the hardest. After all, we had new classes, teachers and classmates to excite us, unnerve us or bore us.

Fall may be my season but summer is hers. As a girl Mom loved spending the summer on the Cape. If it were possible, I’d say she loved summers on Pleasant Lake even more. To use Mom’s words, she was absolutely bereft when it was time to leave paradise for the reality of home.

School always started bright and early on the Tuesday after Labor Day. Unlike many families, we always stayed in New Hampshire until the last possible minute. Most all of our friends were long gone by the time we packed up the car and headed south late Labor Day afternoon. Looking back I’m a little surprised that we didn’t leave at dawn on Tuesday morning.

The other kids showed up looking sharp and ready to go on the first day of school. I still had sand in my hair. My friends’ book bags were filled with shiny new notebooks, pencils and pens. Unless I somehow managed to scrounge up a scruffy old notepad and a stubby pencil, I arrived empty-handed.

Returning home from school that first afternoon, I did my best to convince my mother that I not only needed school supplies but speed was of the essence. Mom was never particularly sympathetic. With melodramatic flair, I insisted my teachers were threatening failure, detention or worse. Still in relax mode and with sand in her hair, Mom insisted the public school system would not, could not expel me because I didn’t have a new pencil. I was not convinced.

Eventually, my pleas wore her down. Off we went to the Five & Dime to pick up middle school flotsam and jetsam.

Of course all the good stuff was long gone. The back-to-school aisle looked like a hurricane had blown through it. While I was swimming, sunning and waterskiing my friends had cornered the market on cool and cute school supplies. I was lucky to find a boring Bic pen and a dull and dreary black notebook. And forget book covers. My mother was too forlorn to understand why I would die before I’d let The Beverly Hillbillies cover my books. In lieu of hari-kari, I became quite expert at cutting and folding paper bags and made my own. My drawings might not have been the envy of the sixth grade but I thought I did okay. Perhaps that’s why I ended up as an art major in college!

Not all gloom and glum, our return to the burbs also meant dinner at the Villa. Never a particularly enthusiastic cook, Mom was too blue that first day or two home to rattle her pots and pans. The Villa was a family favorite and we three kids were more than happy to go along. The noise level was a dull roar, the waitresses were bossy and the food was traditional Italian-American. It was wonderful. The Villa took some of the edge off the pain of being back in the burbs.

Whatever your post-Labor Day reality; I hope you are enjoying all that cooler weather brings. Bon appétit!

Chicken Parmigiana with Spaghetti Marinara
A family friendly dinner for kids from five to ninety-five! My brother always ordered veal or chicken parmagiana when we went to the Villa. Enjoy!
Serves 8

1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
Olive oil
3-4 cups Marinara Sauce (recipe follows)
About 4 ounces mozzarella, shredded
About 4 ounces fontina, shredded
About 1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
About 1 ounce Pecorino Romano, grated
8 ounces spaghetti
Additional grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano for the spaghetti (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and put a large pot of water on high heat to boil.

Put the flour, salt, pepper, paprika and thyme in a shallow bowl and whisk to combine. Lightly coat both sides of the chicken with the seasoned flour.

Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Working in batches, cook the chicken 2-3 minutes per side or until golden. Transfer the chicken to a non-stick, rimmed baking sheet. Top each chicken thigh with 2-3 tablespoons Marinara Sauce and sprinkle with the cheeses. Bake the chicken at 375 for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through and the cheeses are bubbling.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot with enough Marinara Sauce to coat. Don’t drown the pasta in sauce. Cover the pot and let the spaghetti sit for about 1 minute to absorb some of the sauce.

Divide the spaghetti among 8 shallow bowls, top each with a chicken thigh and serve. Pass additional grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano for the pasta.

Traditional Marinara Sauce
Makes about 3 quarts*

Olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 carrots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch or to taste dried chili pepper flakes (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry red wine
9-10 cups (three 28-ounce cans) crushed tomatoes
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons each chopped, fresh basil and parsley

Heat a little olive oil in a heavy sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot and season with pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Sauté until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes more.

Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add the crushed tomatoes, thyme and bay leaf to the pot. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the basil and parsley and simmer for a minute or two more.

* You’ll want to make plenty of sauce. It freezes beautifully and will come in handy throughout the fall and winter.

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One Year Ago – Croûtes au Fromage
Two Years Ago – Tex-Mex Braised Beef
Three Years Ago – Spicy Chicken Stew
Foure Years Ago – Chicken Chili
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What’s your favorite Italian-American dish? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook as well as a day in the life photoblog! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2012

Apple Picking Time & Roasted Pork Loin with Apples & Onions

September means cool nights and warm days. The stars seem twice as bright in the clear, midnight air. The morning sky is a brilliant blue and the sun has a golden hue. I welcome that extra cup of coffee in the morning for the warmth it brings but don shorts and a t-shirt for my afternoon walk. I think of these days as Indian summer but am not sure if it is politically correct to say it out loud. Perhaps I should just rename it Apple Picking Time.

September is when we pick apples in New Hampshire. Sure you can get apples year round from Chile and China. But those apples travel long and far. They just can’t compare to locally grown. In the fall when New England orchards are brimming with fruit, it’s time to think local not global.

An orchard is a wonderful place to spend an early fall afternoon. Family farms dot the New England landscape and many open their orchards to the public in September and October. Some farms have taken the route of autumnal extravaganza. Before you pick your apples you can get lost in a corn maze, ride a pony or carve a pumpkin. With lots to see and do, you can easily fill an afternoon.

Bring a kid, maybe two or three, along with you. (If they’re not your own, don’t forget to check with their mothers first!) Several years ago, I took two of my nieces and a few of their friends to pick apples. It was a glorious day, warm and sunny. The girls dashed through the corn maze in record time, visited the horses and inspected the pumpkins and gourds. They were in constant motion, five delightful dervishes whirling in different directions.

Eventually we headed into the orchard. The little girls dashed up and down the rows of trees, playing tag and climbing up into the lower branches. They practiced juggling and had a wonderful time hurling rotten apples to see who could throw the farthest. Luckily no one got the idea to throw apples at each other. Keeping track of the girls was a lot like herding cats.

Finally we started to pick and before long our bags were heavy with Cortlands and Macs. We finished just in time. Loaded down with girls and apples, I pulled away from the farm just as the sun dipped behind the trees and the temperature dropped.

Back at the house, the giggles and fun continued in the kitchen. We melted caramels and the girls dunked crispy apples in the warm, sweet goo. For the final step and la pièce de résistance, the girls rolled their sticky apples in sprinkles and little candies. An apple a day may keep the doctor away but not when they are coated with sugary treats!

Enjoy apple season. Take a long walk through an old orchard, admire the view and pick a bushel or a peck. Or find a comfy armchair and curl up with a good book and a mug of cider. Fill your kitchen with the fragrant perfume of apples bubbling into a sauce with cinnamon and nutmeg or a savory feast of pork with apples and onions.

Have a lovely September and bon appétit!

Roasted Pork Loin with Apples & Onions
A wonderful, old fashioned dinner, pork loin roasted with apples and onion will hit the spot on a chilly night. Enjoy!
Serves 8

3-4 Cortland or Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into thick wedges
2 onions, cut in half length-wise and then in thin wedges
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme, divided
3-4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
Olive oil
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 pork loin, about 3 pounds, trimmed and tied

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Put the apples, onions, carrot and celery in roasting pan, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon thyme, half the garlic and toss with a little olive oil to coat. Push the onion and apples to the sides of the pan.

Combine the mustard, paprika, sage, remaining thyme and garlic in small bowl. Generously sprinkle the pork with salt and pepper and then slaver it with the mustard mixture. Add the pork to the pan and roast at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

Give the apples and onion a stir and reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 145 degrees*, about 30-45 minutes.

Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let it rest, loosely covered with foil, for 15-20 minutes.

Turn the oven off, transfer the apples and onions to an ovenproof serving dish and return to the oven to stay warm.

Remove the strings from the pork, slice about 1/2-inch thick and serve with the apples and onions.

* There is some debate as to the proper temperature to cook pork. Historically, it has been cooked to 160 degrees. However, pork is fully cooked at 145 degrees (Pork and Pork Products CURFFL Section 113996(a (3)). At that temperature, the meat will be nice and moist and slightly pink.

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One Year Ago – Lemon Roasted Salmon with Beurre Blanc
Two Years Ago – Wild Mushroom Soup
ThreeYears Ago – Rustic Apple Tart
Four Years Ago – Oktoberfest Sausages & Sauerkraut

Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What is your favorite apple recipe? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook as well as a day in the life photoblog! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2012

A Trip to the Farmers’ Market & Salade de Crevettes Nicoise (Shrimp Salad Niçoise)

Many years ago I moved to Lausanne, Switzerland to work on a one year research project at an international business school. Apartments were in short supply but I managed to find a tiny, overpriced studio at the top of the town, high above the Lake of Geneva. The studio was furnished with a Murphy bed, a shabby table and chair and the world’s most uncomfortable sofa. But a picture window on the back wall framed a magnificent view of Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Alps. The studio might have been pricey but the view was priceless.

My office was down by the lake. Early every morning I headed down the steep, cobblestone streets past the train station and on to the wide, tree lined avenues of Ouchy. (That’s pronounced ooh-she not ouch-ee.) Within a day or two, I discovered a small farmers’ market. Once a week a handful of farmers set up shop on a narrow street above the station. Makeshift tables were loaded high with beautiful, just-picked fruits and vegetables.

I was tempted but if I shopped in the market I would need to speak French. French was a dim high school memory, barely spoken in almost ten years. Was I up for the challenge?

I plunged in. Behind one table a nice farmer lady smiled and asked if she could help me. I smiled back, gathered up a tomato or two, a head of lettuce, a zucchini and looked around for beans. I searched the back of my brain for the French word for beans and hit on légume. In English a legume is a dried bean. It stood to reason that légume could be the French word for bean. I frantically composed my request, took a deep breath and asked in fractured French, “Do you have légumes?” The nice lady replied politely and in perfect French. Yes, of course she had légumes but what kind of légumes did I want? Again I wracked my brain and remembered vert was green. “Légumes verts,” I replied.

That’s when she took pity on me and switched to English. Légumes was the French word for vegetables. Since she had lots of green vegetables, could I be more specific? I blushed and tried again, this time in English. She was delighted to sell me haricots verts.

Throughout the year I visited her table many times to buy vegetables and practice speaking French. I frequently fumbled and she just as frequently bailed me out. I soon learned she was a California native. She’d fallen in love with a Swiss farmer and was living happily ever after in a small village outside of Lausanne. When she wasn’t giving mini French lessons to befuddled expatriates, she helped him grow and sell vegetables.

The one year project in Lausanne ended but somehow or other I forgot to come home. After staying in Switzerland for almost two decades, I finally found my way back to Pleasant Lake. I still love a trip to the Farmers’ Market. Even if I don’t need a translator, our local markets have a unique charm found only in New England towns.

Enjoy a trip to the farmers’ market and celebrate summer’s bounty around the table with family and friends,

Bon appétit!

Salade de Crevettes Nicoise (Shrimp Salad Niçoise)
This colorful salade composée (composed salad) will make a beautiful centerpiece on your summer table and tastes wonderful. Enjoy!
Serves 6
1 pound new potatoes, cut in bite size pieces
Vinaigrette Niçoise (recipe follows)
1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut in half
1 pound assorted cherry and grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 European cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 pounds cooked large shrimp*
1/2 cup dry-pack, oil-cured black olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1-2 tablespoons capers, drained
Fresh, chopped parsley

Put the potatoes in a large pot of cold, salted water, set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes well and transfer to a bowl. Combine the potatoes with just enough vinaigrette to coat and toss to combine. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.

Meanwhile, bring salted water to a rapid boil in a large skillet. Add the beans and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring a few times to cook the beans evenly. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again and put the beans in a bowl with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat and toss. Store in the refrigerator.

Put the tomatoes, cucumber, onion and pepper in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat and toss. Store in the refrigerator.

Remove the vegetables and shrimp from the refrigerator about 20-30 minutes before serving.

To serve: arrange the beans around the edges of a large deep platter or on individual plates. Spoon the potatoes into the center. Artfully sprinkle the tomatoes, cucumber, onion and pepper over the beans and potatoes. Top with shrimp, sprinkle with chopped olives, capers and parsley and serve.

* My Mediterranean Shrimp are perfect in this salad. Make ahead and store in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can buy cooked shrimp and toss them in a little vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette Niçoise
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3-4 cloves garlic
1-inch chunk red onion
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
Dash hot sauce
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup or to taste extra-virgin olive oil

Put the vinegar, mustard, garlic, onion, thyme and hot sauce in a blender or small food processor, season with salt and pepper and pulse to combine and chop the garlic and onion. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil and process until incorporated.

Store extra vinaigrette in the refrigerator.

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One Year Ago – Insalata Caprese
Two Year Ago – Mojito Melons
Three Years Ago – Grilled Antipasto
Four Years Ago – Nana Nye’s Fish Chowder
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

Do you have a favorite Farmers’ Market? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. 

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook as well as a day in the life photoblog! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good.

© Susan W. Nye, 2012

Farmers’ Market Photograph by Natalie Maynor. All other photographs by Susan Nye.


Fun Chippies & Blackberry Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt

Every family has its own mini subculture. At least mine does or did. Throughout my childhood we shared a few habits and traditions that helped knit our family together. Traditions like:
• Presents on Christmas Day, not Eve. I think my sister, brother and I were a little envious of the kids who opened their presents on Christmas Eve.
• We always stayed on the beach until the very last possible moment on Labor Day, before heading back to the ‘burbs. We were never envious of the kids who left a few days early to shoe shop and buy notebooks.
• Chips with lobster – I was shocked the first time I had lobster at someone else’s house. They served potato salad and not chips. It seemed positively barbarian.
The list goes on and on. We still follow a lot of these little habits but not all.

There are jokes and stories that no gets but us. No matter how hilarious we find them and ourselves, no one else seems to. And finally, there is the language thing. Yes we speak English but we have a few special words to describe this or that. For example:
• We never had leftovers; we had Slusser’s Delight and breadandwithit. Although, there was never any bread.
• After a long, busy day, we were known to have a sinking spell. When that happened, we didn’t put on our jammies, we got into our nonni-nunus and relaxed in front of the television.
• And our favorite ice cream was filled with fun chippies<.em>.

We discovered fun chippies soon after we began spending our summers on Pleasant Lake. Mass market and chain restaurant ice creams paled in comparison to the homemade delights at the Grey House. There was no gum, no Arabic, no stabilizers or fillers. We’d grown up on Howard Johnson’s ice cream. Heck, my grandmother went to school with the original Howard. His chocolate chip and mint chocolate chip ice creams were filled with miniscule specks of chocolate. They had nowhere near the charm of the Grey House’s fun chippies.

At the time, they were a novelty, a far cry from Howard’s specks and the big, fat flakes of imitation chocolate in cheap, supermarket ice cream. For all our fascination, fun chippies were nothing more than the mini morsels that Nestlé now sells in supermarkets from coast to coast. And nothing less than real chocolate. The Grey House threw them into a bunch of different ice creams – vanilla, black raspberry, mint, coffee and chocolate. Not just yummy, we thought they were adorable.

We thought our nickname was terribly clever. I’m not sure who in the family coined it, probably my sister Brenda. To this day, we don’t understand why it never became a part of the local language along with frappes and jimmies. Alas, fun chippies never appeared on the Grey House menu. Or on any other menu for that matter.

My mother was always watching her waistline and had to be cajoled into taking us out for ice cream. However, Dad took personal pride in New England’s claim as the Ice Cream Eating Champions of the World. On hot summer nights he would shout out to anyone who would listen, “Who wants fun chippies?” Feet pounded and doors slammed and in a matter of seconds kids and dogs were packed into the back seat of the station wagon and ready to go. Fun chippies were the perfect way to end an already perfect day in paradise.

The Grey House and its ice cream window closed years ago, but you can still find old-fashion, homemade ice cream stands scattered across New England. Why not visit one real soon!?!

Bon appétit!

Blackberry Yogurt Ice Cream with Fun Chippies
Want to get the good old fashion taste of a New England ice cream stand, try making your own. Enjoy!
Makes about 1 quart

1 quart nonfat plain yogurt
1 pound fresh blackberries
1 cup half & half
1/2 – 3/4 cup (to taste) brown sugar or honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons Framboise* (optional)
1/2 cup (or to taste) mini chocolate chips

Put the yogurt in a colander or sieve lined with a clean dishtowel or coffee filter and drain for several hours or overnight. You should end up with about 2 cups of yogurt cheese.

Put the blackberries in a blender with about 1/2 cup half & half and process until smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.

Put the yogurt, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, Framboise and remaining half & half in a in a bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly add the blackberry-cream and whisk until smooth. Chill for at least an hour. The mix should be very cold.

Transfer the mix to an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In the final few minutes, slowly pour in the chocolate chips and continue to process until the chocolate chips are well integrated into the ice cream. Transfer the ice cream to a plastic container and freeze for up to one month.

If the ice cream comes out of the freezer rock hard, put it in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes. It will soften a little and be easier to scoop.

* Framboise is a French raspberry liqueur.

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One Year Ago – Brown Sugar Yogurt Gelato
Two Years Ago – Red Pepper Dip
Three Years Ago – Grilled Chicken, Shallots & New Potatoes
Four Years Ago – Barbecue Chicken
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

How do you keep cool when temperatures soar? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook as well as a day in the life photoblog! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2012

Dog Daze & Grilled Chicken Salad Provencal

If there was ever a summer for dog days, this is it. Yes, it’s been one of those summers. It happens from time to time. The heat waves roll in one after another and another. The air gets thick and heavy and the hot hot sun is merciless. I guess it was to be expected this year. After all, our first day of summer was back in mid-March. In New England we make much of our endless winter. We joke that summer is a warm day in July. But for a balmy ides of March? We got nothing.

On these hot, humid days, most of us want nothing more than to laze around under a tree or float in the lake. As far as I can figure, there is no better place when the temperature skyrockets than Pleasant Lake. As is fitting for the dog days of summer, when we were kids we brought our dogs to the beach. No one wanted to leave their pooch in the house all day, hot or lonely or both. It was their vacation too!

Our four-legged friends happily trotted along to the lake to swim, retrieve sticks and keep us company. The water patrol did not accept dogs as spotters for water skiing but many were invited onto Sunfishes for leisurely afternoon sails. They were generally agreeable as long as they could abandon ship and swim back to shore when the fickle winds on Pleasant Lake inevitably died.

Eventually after one too many territorial disputes, dogs were banned from the beach. Our dog Eeyore was a lot like his namesake, the donkey in the Winnie the Pooh books. A loveable black Labrador retriever, he was born old; a little cantankerous, a little melancholy. As he did with most things, Eeyore accepted his exile to the house with dignity.

Forced indoors, he searched out cool places to snooze away the long afternoons until his family returned. On hot days, Eeyore wrapped his big, old, Labrador body around the toilet to stay cool. On really hot days he climbed into the bathtub. As he got older and more arthritic it became one of life’s unsolved mysteries as to how he got up and into the tub. How he got out was not a mystery. It took at least three of us to wrestle seventy-five pounds of awkward dog out of the bathtub.

While he never managed to turn on the faucet for a cool shower, Eeyore was probably more comfortable lolling in the tub than his humans down on the beach. On sweltering days, the tennis courts were empty by noon and boats stayed on the shore. We kids wanted nothing more than to flop down under the trees. We barely moved; except to complain. When we couldn’t take a minute more, we summoned our courage, dashed across the blistering sand and dove into the water for a leisurely swim to the raft.

That worked for maybe a day. Maybe two. Too hot days always made our mothers nervous. It wasn’t the heat or the humidity. It was the lying around and doing nothing. They lived to see us busy. We were constantly pushed onto the tennis courts, into sailboats or into doing good deeds. But when the mercury hit ninety and then ninety-five or more, we refused to pick up a racket or aimlessly drift off shore in the sweltering sun. Alas our moms were formidable opponents and would not be outdone by the heat and our sloth. They put us to work washing cars to raise money for Hospital Day. Or insisted the life guards organize a swim to Blueberry Island. Anything to keep us busy. None of us were particularly bad kids but our moms were convinced that too much free time would lead to mischief.

They were probably right.

Enjoy all that summer has to offer and bon appétit!

Grilled Chicken Salad Provencal
This colorful salad is as beautiful as it is delicious, perfect for a hot summer night on the deck or on the beach. Enjoy!
Serves 4-6

1 – 1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Sun-dried tomato marinade (recipe follows)
1-2 romaine hearts, torn into bite sized pieces
8-12 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
8-12 Greek or Niçoise olives, pitted and roughly chopped
3-4 radishes, chopped
3-4 scallions, white and light green parts only or 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 – 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh, chopped basil
2 tablespoons fresh, chopped parsley
Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Put the chicken in a large, heavy-duty plastic re-sealable bag. Add the marinade and seal the bag, pressing out any excess air. Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator, turning every few hours, for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat the grill to medium high. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Arrange the chicken on the grill. Reduce the heat to medium and grill, turning once, until cooked through, 3-5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the romaine, tomatoes, olives, radishes, onions, cucumber and pepper in a large bowl and toss to combine. Sprinkle with half the herbs and toss again. Just before serving, add enough vinaigrette to lightly coat and toss to combine.

To serve: arrange the salad on a large platter. Thinly slice the chicken and arrange on top of the salad. Drizzle a little vinaigrette over the chicken, sprinkle with the remaining herbs and serve.

Sun-Dried Tomato Marinade
2 cloves garlic
1/2 shallot
2 halves oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1-2 sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon or to taste sea salt
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
1 cup dry white wine

Put all the ingredients except the wine in a blender and process to combine. With the motor running, slowly add the wine and process until smooth.

Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette
2 halves oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil to taste

Put all the ingredients except the olive oil in a blender and pulse a few times to mince and combine. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil and process until smooth and combined.

Makes about 1 cup, store extra vinaigrette in the refrigerator.

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One Year Ago – Lobster with Corn, Tomato & Arugula Salad
Two Years Ago – Greek Green Beans
Three Years Ago – Blueberry Pie
Four Years Ago – Grilled Lamb
Or Click Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

How do you keep cool when temperatures soar? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going.
Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook as well as a day in the life photoblog! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project
Eat Well-Do Good. © Susan W. Nye, 2012