GRILLED CHICKEN SUMMER SALAD
ACTIVE TIME: 1 ½ HR START TO FINISH: 1 ½ HR
5 Tbsp red-wine vinegar
1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 small garlic cloves, minced
¾ tsp sugar
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup chopped chives
FOR RADISH-CUCUMBER SALAD
4 cups water
1/3 cup kosher salt
2 Tbsp sugar
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 bunch radishes
4 Persian cucumbers or 1 seedless cucumber
½ cup packed flat-lead parsley leaves
FOR CHICKPEA SALAD
1 (15- to 19-oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
1 Tbsp chopped mint
FOR GREEN BEAN SALAD
1 lb haricots verts or other green beans
½ cup whole almonds with skin, toasted and coarsely chopped
FOR GRILLED MUSHROOM AND CHICKEN
¾ lb fresh cremini mushrooms, halved
¾ lb fresh shitake mushrooms, stem reserved for another use and caps halved
2 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs
1/3 cup basil pesto
FOR TOMATO SALAD
2 medium tomatoes, cut into ½-inch thick wedges
¼ cup thinly sliced basil
4 cups thinly sliced romaine, Bibb, and/or Boston lettuce
EQUIPMENT: a perforated grill sheet
MAKE VINAIGRETTE: Whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients, except oil and chives, with ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Whisk in chives.
MAKE RADISH-CUCUMBER SALAD: Boil water with salt, sugar, garlic, and peppercorns in a 4-qt pot, uncovered, 10 minutes. While brine boils, trim and halves radishes. Halve cucumbers lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½-inch thick slices. Remove brine from heat. Add radishes and cucumbers and let stand, uncovered, 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, discarding garlic and peppercorns. Transfer radishes and cucumbers to an ice bath to stop cooking, then drain well in colander. Transfer to a large bowl and chill, uncovered, about 20 minutes.
MAKE CHICKPEA SALAD: Stir together chickpeas, onion, ¼ cup vinaigrette, and salt and pepper to taste.
COOK GREEN BEANS: Cook green beans in a large pot of well-salted boiling water, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 3 to 6 minutes. Drain. Transfer to a large ice bath to stop cooking. Drain again and pat dry.
GRILL MUSHROOMS AND CHICKEN: Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over hot charcoal (medium-high heat for gas). Toss mushrooms with 2 Tbsp vinaigrette and marinate 10 minutes. Grill mushrooms in 2 batches on oiled grill sheet, covered only if using a gas grill, stirring frequently, until golden-brown, about 5 minutes per batch. Toss hot mushrooms with 2 Tbsp vinaigrette. Season chicken with ½ tsp each of salt and pepper. Oil grill rack, then grill chicken over medium-hot charcoal (medium heat for gas), covered only if using a gas grill, turning chicken occasionally and moving it as necessary to avoid flare-ups, until just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes. Cut into ½-inch thick slices and toss with pesto in a large bowl.
DRESS SALADS AND ASSEMBLE DISH: Toss brined cucumbers and radishes with parsley, 3 Tbsp vinaigrette, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir mint into chickpea salad. Toss beans with 2 Tbsp vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with almonds. Toss tomatoes with 3 Tbsp vinaigrette, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss lettuce with 1 Tbsp vinaigrette. Arrange chicken, mushrooms, and salads side by side on a large platter and serve remaining vinaigrette on the side.
COOKS NOTES: Vinaigrette, without chives, can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Add chives just before serving. Radish-cucumber salad, without parsley, can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Add parsley just before serving. Chickpea salad, without mint, can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Ass mint just before serving. Haricots verts can be cooked 1 day ahead and chilled in a sealable bad lined with paper towels. Mushrooms and chicken can be cooked in batches in an oiled hot 2-burner grill pan over medium-high heat.
JUST FOR FUN: Check out Little Girl in the Kitchen Videos. Watch one of my favorite 11 year old's cook like she is the next Giada. I have been cooking with her for some time and she truly has exquisite taste. Plus, all recipes in her videos are hers truly.