This bright and summery entree salad, which uses a savory apricot puree as both marinade and dressing, makes a refreshing change from the standby Chicken Caesar. The salad also works well with sliced peaches or nectarines.
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
Marinade & dressing
½ cup dried apricots
1 cup hot water
2 cups loosely packed mint leaves, (about 1 bunch)
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
½ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons honey
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed of fat
1 large head romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces (10 cups)
6 fresh apricots, or plums, pitted and cut into wedges
1 cup loosely packed mint leaves, (about ½ bunch), roughly chopped
½ cup sliced almonds, toasted (see Tip)
To prepare marinade & dressing: Soak dried apricots in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain and transfer apricots to a food processor. Add 2 cups mint, orange zest, orange juice, honey, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. With the motor running, gradually drizzle in oil. Reserve 1 cup for the dressing.
To prepare salad: Transfer the remaining marinade to a large sealable plastic bag. Add chicken, seal and turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Lightly oil the grill rack (hold a piece of oil-soaked paper towel with tongs and rub it over the grate). Grill the chicken over medium-high heat until no longer pink in the center, 6 to 8 minutes per side. (Discard the marinade.)
Meanwhile, combine lettuce, apricot (or plum) wedges and chopped mint in a large bowl. Add the reserved dressing and toss to coat. Divide the salad among 4 plates. Slice the chicken and arrange over the salads. Sprinkle with almonds and serve.
Make Ahead Tip: The dressing will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Tip: To toast almonds: Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F until golden brown and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Toasted almonds will keep, tightly covered, at room temperature for up to 1 week.