Oregon Summer Grilled Chicken Salad (see photo on page 1)
Inspired by a summer evening in the Pacific Northwest, this fruity salad makes use of local specialties such as peaches, hazelnuts, Oregon cheese, and pails of roadside blackberries.
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar, divided
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons hazelnut oil or extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons honey, divided
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 pound (about 2 large) boneless chicken breasts, preferably with skin
2 tablespoons minced shallot
12 cups mixed greens
2 peaches, pitted and sliced
1 cup fresh blackberries
1/2 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts (can use almonds)
2 ounces Oregon (or other) blue or soft, fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Combine 2 tablespoons vinegar, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon honey, the thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small baking dish and stir to blend. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or up to overnight.
Preheat a grill or stovetop grill pan to medium heat. Grill the chicken until browned and cooked though, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a cutting board.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, remaining 1 tablespoon honey, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Gradually whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup oil. Stir in the minced shallot. Add the greens, peaches and blackberries to the dressing in the bowl and toss to combine. Divide the salad among 4 plates.
Thinly slice the warm chicken and arrange it atop the salads, dividing evenly. Drizzle any juices over the chicken. Sprinkle the salads with the hazelnuts and cheese and serve.
Pack up for work: In your to-go bowl (a 1 ½ quart lidded bowl for ample tossing room), layer berries and peaches on the bottom, top with greens, then chicken and sprinkle with blue cheese. Nuts should go in a baggy. Salad dressing needs its own small container.