chicken milanese with green apple salad.

A chicken cutlet is a chicken cutlet, but the real standout here is the salad on top. Arugula is one of those “eh” greens in our house, but turns out by adding some apple, and some parmesan, it makes a great topper and a delicious, quick weeknight supper! (Cheese makes salad better? Breaking news.)

chicken milanese with green apple salad.

Chicken Milanese with Green Apple Salad.
via Just a Taste

4 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts (buy cutlets to make it even faster)
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
Olive oil

for the salad:
1 tbsp minced shallots
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups arugula (this would work just as well with baby spinach, or even baby lettuces)
1 large Granny Smith apple, chopped
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Start with your chicken. If you’re not using pre-made cutlets, place chicken breast on a cutting board and a piece of wax paper on top. Pound with a mallet until it’s as thin as you can get it (I never can get it as thin as recipes request, let’s be honest).

Next, get three shallow dishes. Place flour in one, eggs in the next, panko in the third. Lightly beat the eggs. Season chicken salt and pepper, then coat each with flour, then egg, then press the panko into cutlets.

In a large skillet over medium-low heat, heat enough olive oil to thoroughly coat the bottom of the pan. Add cutlets to skillet (oil should sizzle), and cook 2-3 minutes. Turn, and continue cooking until cutlets are golden brown and cooked through. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Serve with salad topping.

To make the salad:
Add shallots, dijon, lemon juice, honey and olive oil to a mason jar, and shake vigorously to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a medium bowl, add arugula, parmesan and apple slices. Toss with dressing.

Did y’all think we forgot about you?
jcristg

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Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad

I am not typically a big lover of watermelon. Every summer, I see people getting so excited when the season for good watermelon rolls into town, and I think… “Eh. It’s just… watermelon.” It’s just never gotten me real excited.

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad

However, for reasons that cannot be explained, all winter long I had the urge to make a watermelon and feta salad. It just kept nagging at me in the back of my mind – and, of course, winter is not the time to be making a watermelon salad! (At least not if you want it to be good.) So, when the giant bin of watermelons finally showed up at my Trader Joe’s, I grabbed one and set forth to fulfill my dream of a watermelon salad. (It’s worth noting that watermelon is one of those words that starts to look and sound REALLY STRANGE when you use it too much, as I am doing here. WATERMELON WATERMELON WATERMELON.)

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad
serves 10-12 as a side dish

about 1/2 a 5lb watermelon, cut into 1″ cubes
6 oz block of feta, cut into 1/2″ cubes
about 20 mint leaves, chiffonade*
juice of one orange
juice of one lemon
3 T olive oil
1-2 T honey
kosher salt
black pepper

*All this means is that you should stack up the mint leaves, roll them up into a little log, and then slice the log into 1/8″ to 1/4″ wide pieces. This will give you lots of pretty little ribbons of mint!

1.) In a small bowl or jar, combine the orange juice, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Whisk or shake until fully combined. (If your watermelon is not super sweet, use more toward 2 tablespoons of honey.)

2.) Take a large, wide serving bowl, and put about half the cubed watermelon in the bottom. Top with half the feta, and half the mint. Pour 1/3 to 1/2 the dressing over the top (you may not end up using it all), and then make a second layer of all the ingredients. Serve immediately, or cover the bowl and chill in the fridge for up to 2 hours.

Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad

You could certainly toss all the ingredients together, but layering them keeps the feta from breaking up too much and making the whole salad look a little murky. It looks beautiful once it’s all put together – and tastes just as great! This salad is wonderfully refreshing, and the sweet/salty combination of the watermelon and feta is fantastic.

Of course, this salad would be perfect for a barbecue or outdoor party. If you want to make it ahead, I would just dice and chop everything ahead of time (as well as mixing up the dressing), and then layer it right before serving.

Raise your hand if one of your all time favorite movie lines is “I carried a watermelon.”,
Tina

it’s finally summertime salad.

I have been making this salad since I was 9 months pregnant, when I was too hot and swollen and miserable to make much else. (Having a baby in August in South Carolina is about as ill-advised as getting married outdoors in August.) (Oh wait. Did that too.) It’s easy, and satisfying, and refreshing – all characteristics of a summer side, in my opinion. The original recipe wants you to cook the corn, but I prefer to cut mine off the cob and use it raw. Not only does it keep me from dirtying a pan, it remains crunchy and sweet! The original recipe also calls for cilantro in the dressing, which I leave out.

summer salad.

Summer Salad.
Adapted from here

for the salad
4 ears corn, cut off the cob
1 avocado, diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 large cucumber, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup crumbled feta
1/2 red onion, diced (optional)

for the dressing
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 freshly ground black pepper
6 tbsp. olive oil

Combine dressing ingredients in a small jar, shake vigorously to combine.

In a large serving bowl, combine vegetables and feta. Toss with dressing to taste (you won’t need all of it).

Summer is for lots and lots of veggies, and not turning on the oven,
jcristg

Kale Panzanella Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

So, have you hopped on the kale bandwagon yet? If not, I have another delicious kale recipe to tempt you with… and this one has the added appeal of CARBS! If adding a bunch of bread to your vegetables doesn’t make them more appealing to you, then I have to assume you are broken, and I feel very sorry for you. (Kidding! I mean, I guess you don’t HAVE to love bread… but you probably should, I think.)

Kale Panzanella Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

ANYWAYS. The first incarnation of this recipe occurred a few weeks back. I was making some delicious grilled artichoke subs for dinner (recipe forthcoming!), and I ended up pulling the insides of my baguettes out, to make room for more artichokes. I could not, in good conscience, throw out perfectly good bread, so I was going to freeze it to make breadcrumbs with at a later date… but then it occurred to me that I could toast it up, and use it to make a panzanella salad! As luck would have it, I had a fresh bunch of kale in the fridge (it’s a staple – I ALWAYS have kale in the fridge), so I decided to make a kale panzanella. After a bit of tweaking, I’m finally ready to share the recipe with you!

Kale Panzanella Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
serves 2

one bunch lactinato kale*
3-4oz good bread, cut or torn into bite-size pieces**
half a pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
fresh parmesan (not grated!)
3 T olive oil, divided
juice of half a lemon
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 T whole grain mustard
1 T honey
kosher salt
pepper

Kale Panzanella Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

*I find that lactinato kale is the most palatable (texture-wise), especially if you’re trying it out for the first time. Lactinato kale (also called dinosaur or tuscan kale) has flat, broad, dark green leaves that are kind of pebbled in texture… most other varieties are lighter green, and curly around the edges. They all taste pretty much the same, in my opinion!

**You want to use a good, hearty bread for this salad; now is not the time for regular sliced bread. I prefer not to use the crispy crust of the bread (I would use a soft baguette, or a loaf of ciabatta or other good Italian bread), but you certainly can if you’d like to!

1.) Preheat your oven to 375°. Line a small baking sheet with foil, and spread your bread pieces out on it. Toss the bread with about a tablespoon of olive oil (I used my olive oil mister, and it worked nicely), and toast it in the oven until it’s golden brown and crispy, about 8-10 minutes. Allow the bread to cool slightly.

2.) While the bread toasts, prep your kale. Remove the leaves from the tough stems, and discard the stems. Stack all the kale leaves together, and use a sharp knife to cut the leaves cross-wise into 1/2″ strips. Wash and dry the kale as necessary (a salad spinner is optimal, here).

3.) Add the kale to a large bowl, and add one tablespoon of olive oil, the lemon juice, and a pinch of kosher salt. Use your hands to work the oil and lemon juice into the leaves, until they’re all thoroughly coated and beginning to soften, about a minute or two.

4.) For the vinaigrette, add one tablespoon each of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, whole grain mustard, and honey to a small bowl. Add a pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper, and whisk to combine.

5.) Pour the dressing over the massaged kale, and toss it with tongs to evenly distribute the dressing. Add the cooled bread, and toss it with the kale. Divide the kale and bread mixture in to two bowls, and then top with the cherry tomatoes and fresh shavings of parmesan.

Kale Panzanella Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

I have tried several different dressings with this particular salad, and this one was definitely the winner. It’s got a bit of sweetness, a little bite – and some texture from the whole grain mustard. I also really, really love the pairing of the hearty kale with the crispy bread… it just works! Of course, you could switch up the toppings of this salad however you like (olive, artichoke hearts, cucumber, bell peppers), but I love the sweet tomatoes and salty parmesan together. I promise this salad will make a kale lover out of the most ardent kale hater!

Kale Panzanella Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

And then you get to feel smug and virtuous all day, because YOU ATE KALE,
Tina