Grilled Chicken and Nectarine Summer Salad.
Grilled chicken overtop bibb lettuce, sweet nectarines, tangy and crisp red onions, creamy mozzarella and basil. Drizzled with poppyseed dressing. Perfect for a summer lunch on the deck – or for dinner paired with some fresh grilled corn on the cob and a crusty warm baguette with butter.
Disclosure: I created this Grilled Chicken and Nectarine Summer Salad for Drew’s Organics, maker of organic dressings and salsas as part of an ongoing partnership with them. I was compensated for the recipe creation, but not for this post and all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that make My Cape Cod Kitchen possible!
If you love fruit in your savory salads, this Grilled Chicken and Nectarine Summer Salad is for you. And if you don’t love fruit in your salad (like me), then this salad is also for you. You see … I’ve never been a big fan of savory salads with berries or any kind of fruit in them – or fruit mixed into otherwise savory dishes, especially those salads with mayo (i.e. chicken, tuna or pasta salad with grapes, raisins, etc … ICK). BUT – I love these nectarines in this savory salad. Probably because the nectarines are really crisp and so good right now because stone fruit is in season. And the nectarines pair really nicely with the other salad ingredients. And there’s no mayo involved. This is a sweet and savory combo I am into.
Sidenote … You’ve seen a lot of those mini mozzarella balls (ciliegine) in my recent recipes, haven’t you? They are probably my favorite thing as of late … plain or marinated, they’re just SO good! They’re on my salads daily – or I eat them from the container with a toothpick for snack. Do you like them as much as I do?
Anyhow, the poppyseed dressing in this recipe plays double duty – serves as a marinade for the chicken and a dressing for drizzling. We do this often, because it simplifies the prep and number of ingredients used and most good salad dressings lend themselves to both uses.
I’d recommend grilling up a few pounds of chicken to keep in the fridge for this salad and future meals.Whenever we grill up chicken – or anything for that matter – nowadays, we make a double or triple batch. With 2 little ones under 2 years old now, time available to prep and cook meals is minimal, so having some cooked protein for meals makes our lives (and dinnertime) much easier. The time from 5pm onward to bedtime for Lucca tends to be the witching hours. If he’s gone to school, he’s exhausted and is really needy and wants to be held around dinner time. So, it’s hard to juggle little Lexi, cooking and giving Lucca extra attention when Adrian isn’t home from work yet. So, assembly meals like this, where ingredients are already prepped and ready ahead of time, are going to be key at least until the kiddos are older.
We’ll be making salads like this one often because:
- it’s quick to prepare
- it’s fresh and using seasonal ingredients (hello fresh basil and nectarines!)
- the ingredients can be prepped ahead of time and assembled when ready to enjoy
- it’s cool and refreshing … especially in the dog days of July & August when I don’t want to turn on the oven or stove!
- it’s gorgeous – isn’t it?!
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Here’s how to make this Grilled Chicken and Nectarine Summer Salad:
- 8 oz Drew’s Organic Poppy Seed Dressing & Quick Marinade, plus additional dressing for serving
- 2 lbs organic chicken breast
- 1 head butter lettuce, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 4 oz ciliegine fresh mozzarella (cherry sized mozzarella balls), halved
- 2 nectarines, thinly sliced
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup slivered basil
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Add chicken and marinade to a large resealable bag. Marinate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat grill to medium high heat. Clean and lightly oil grates.
- Place chicken on the grill and grill until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Discard marinade.
- Remove chicken from grill and let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, on a large serving platter or in a large salad bowl, add lettuce, then top with mozzarella, nectarine slices, red onion and slivered basil.
- Slice chicken and lay atop the salad.
- Top salad with freshly cracked black pepper and drizzle with desired amount of dressing.
- Serve family style with crusty rolls or chunks of baguette.