Balsamic vinegar, strawberries and black pepper are a classic Italian trio: spicy and sweet, refined and earthy. Here they combine in a delicious dinner salad, topped with grilled chicken and toasted almonds. This dressing is also great on a salad of arugula, goat cheese and pecans.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, Spring 2003


Fresh Strawberry Dressing
Grilled Chicken Salad


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare dressing: Place strawberries, vinegar, pepper, sugar and salt in a blender or food processor; process until pureed, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides. Add 2 tablespoons oil and process until smooth.

  • To prepare salad: Put a large pot of water on to boil for cooking vegetables. Prepare a grill or preheat broiler.

  • Add asparagus, sugar snaps and snow peas to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water to refresh, then blot dry with paper towels. Whisk lemon juice, 1 tablespoon oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the vegetables and scallions; toss to coat.

  • Rub chicken with 2 teaspoons canola oil and sprinkle with lemon-pepper seasoning. Oil the grill rack (see Tips). Grill the chicken until lightly browned and no longer pink in the center, about 6 minutes per side. (Alternatively, broil the chicken on an oiled broiler pan 4 to 6 inches from the heat source until cooked through, about 6 minutes per side.) Let rest for 5 minutes.

  • Cut the chicken crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Divide the vegetable mixture among 4 plates. Arrange the chicken over the vegetables. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the dressing over each salad. Sprinkle with almonds and garnish each serving with a strawberry. Serve immediately.


Make Ahead Tip: To make ahead: Cover and refrigerate the dressing (Step 1) for up to 2 days. Cook the vegetables (Steps 2-3) up to 4 hours before serving; store in the refrigerator under barely moistened paper towels.

Almond oil is an unrefined oil pressed from almonds. You can find it in many supermarkets and natural-foods stores. Store it in the refrigerator.

Sugar snaps have a fibrous seam on the inside curve. To remove it, grasp the stem protruding from one end and pull it down the inside curve as if you were unzipping the pea.

To toast sliced almonds: Place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Oiling a grill rack before you grill foods helps ensure that the food won't stick. Oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)

Nutrition Facts

319.5 calories; protein 23.4g 47% DV; carbohydrates 18g 6% DV; exchange other carbs 1; dietary fiber 6g 24% DV; sugars 9g; fat 17.9g 28% DV; saturated fat 1.9g 9% DV; cholesterol 47mg 16% DV; vitamin a iu 1366.8IU 27% DV; vitamin c 95.5mg 159% DV; folate 146mcg 37% DV; calcium 103.5mg 10% DV; iron 4mg 22% DV; magnesium 75.4mg 27% DV; potassium 642.1mg 18% DV; sodium 429.2mg 17% DV; thiamin 0.3mg 31% DV; added sugar 1g.

Reviews (2)

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Rating: 5 stars
The strawberry dressing is a great standalone dressing for many other salads. I altered the recipe using asparagus snow peas and green beans. After blanching I put the veggies on the grill and gave then a little char as well as the smokey flavor. Grilled the chicken too. I've made the meal three time this summer. It keeps getting better. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Perfect for a hot summer day Our cooking group made this for lunch and loved it! (Would be fine for an evening meal tool) Filling put not heavy. Great for a hot summer day. Used my steaming cookware to blanch the veggies. Filled bottom pan with water and lowered top container with 1/3 of veggies at time into the water. Made it easy. Read More