Grilled Chicken and Grape Spring Salad with Goat Cheese and Honey-Balsamic Dressing

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Salad is one of my go to meals lately. When you add a protein like chicken it makes it filling enough to count as the main course and no longer just a side dish or appetizer. Plus they are generally really easy to throw together, as long as you don’t mind a little chopping.

This salad is definitely one of my new favorites and I’m sure I will make it countless times this spring and summer. I had two plates of it then still was left wanting more! It has such a delicious blend of flavors that all pair incredibly well together. Grapes and goat cheese are the perfect match, then you get this rich toasted flavor from the pecans, a little bite from the onions, a wonderful herbed flavor from the thyme and rosemary grilled chicken (which of course use fresh herbs if you have them this summer), and the perfect base to start the salad with a mix of baby spring lettuces. And of course let’s not forget that honey balsamic dressing that finishes it all off, it really is exactly what this salad needs and there couldn’t be a dressing that could compliment it better! It’s hint of honey and fair amount of richly-tart balsamic vinegar just makes this salad sing.

Make it soon, I have the feeling you’ll love it just as much as I do!!

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Ingredients

Salad
3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Olive oil (about 2 tsp)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (5 oz) pkg baby spring lettuce blend
1 1/2 cups red grapes, sliced into halves
1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped and toasted
1/3 of a small red onion (about a heaping 1/3 cup), sliced into thin strips and run under cool water to remove harsh bite
2 oz crumbled goat cheese

Dressing
1/3 cup olive oil
2 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat grill over medium-high heat. Pound thicker parts of chicken with a meat mallet to even thickness. Brush chicken lightly with olive oil, sprinkle evenly with rosemary and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Grill until chicken has cooked through (internal temp of 165), rotating once halfway through cooking. Transfer to a plate and let rest 5 minutes, then cut into strips.

Add all remaining salad ingredients to a salad bowl. Pour over dressing, lightly toss and serve, or alternately plate salad then drizzle individual servings with dressing.

For the dressing:
Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste (about 1/4 tsp salt 1/8 tsp pepper). Blend about 20 seconds until emulsified. Pour into a container and chill. Whisk before serving.

Enjoy! 🙂

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