How is it that so often the most simply prepared and presented dish is also the most worthy of savoring? How is it that healthy can be so utterly divine? It seems that the fewer ingredients a dish has, the cleaner and more nuanced the flavors are, and the experience of eating it that much more enjoyable to the one partaking. Natural, fresh, whole food is absolutely stunning to look at; it’s alive and vibrant. And what it brings to the body is exactly what is needed, delivered in an amazingly pleasurable way.
At heart, I’m a minimalist. I like things simple and basic. And while one of my favorite things to tuck into is a long-simmered soup or braised stew that bubble away gently for hours, I also really go for being able to run my knife through a few fresh seasonal ingredients, simply dressing them to bring out the natural goodness that they already have within them, and delivering them atop a succulent vehicle of some sort. I guess I would say it’s salad turned on its head, and I just can’t seem to put my fork down when I sit down to it.
Deeply colored raw greens have a texture to them that is so pleasing; they have an intensely earthy flavor that easily lends itself to the minimally fussed-over meal. And while the greens of a salad are often typically found on the bottom of the plate, I like the idea of giving them the spotlight they deserve atop a simply seared chicken breast for a change.
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Breast Salad with Kale and Chard Greens
Print this recipe
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, butterflied to make 8 thinner cutlets
2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup Panko breadcrumbs
• Canola oil for searing
2 cups kale (center rib/stalk removed), very finely chopped
2 cups rainbow chard (center rib/stalk removed), very finely chopped
½ cup sprouted Kamut*, or regular sprouts
¼ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
¼ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
• Tangy Mustard Vinaigrette (recipe below)
(*Available at Whole Foods Market)
-Marinate the 8 thin chicken breast cutlets in a large bowl with all of the ingredients beginning with the garlic through the black pepper; set aside for about 20 minutes while you prep the remainder of the meal.
-Prepare the Tangy Mustard Vinaigrette (recipe below), and set aside.
-In a medium bowl, add the chopped kale and chard greens, about half of the sprouted Kamut (or regular sprouts), and all of the quartered cherry tomatoes; set the salad aside in the fridge to keep cold until ready to serve with the Parmesan Seared Chicken Breasts.
-To sear the chicken breasts, add the grated Parmesan cheese and the Panko breadcrumbs to a clean plate and toss together, and lightly dredge each cutlet in the mixture; once all cutlets are lightly dredged, place large, non-stick pan over medium-high heat, and add a few drizzles of canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan; one the oil is hot, work in batches searing the chicken, allowing the cutlets to become golden-brown on each side, roughly 3 minutes per side; keep the chicken warm until you’re ready to serve it.
-Toss the kale and chard greens/salad with the vinaigrette.
-To plate, slice each of the Parmesan Seared Chicken cutlets on the bias, and add two of the sliced cutlets to each plate; top with a generous handful of the greens/salad; finish with a sprinkle of the remaining Kamut (or sprouts) on top of each, as well as a sprinkle of the chopped toasted hazelnuts.
Tangy Mustard Vinaigrette ingredients:
1 clove garlic, pressed through garlic press
½ teaspoon, heaping, sugar
½ teaspoon yellow mustard
¼ teaspoon, heaping, sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
-In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients from the garlic through the lemon juice to combine; slowly begin drizzling in the olive oil, whisking, until well combined and emulsified; set aside until ready to dress to greens.