Though summer isn't officially over for a little while yet, soon it'll be time to bring in the more fall-oriented recipes that will help usher us into that particular delicious and comforting time of year.
But before we go...
When I think of the summer eating season, I think of lots of colors and bold flavors—lots of fresh produce added to mildly spicy and savory dishes to liven them up.
And nothing says “clean” more than a citrus-marinated and simply-grilled chicken breasts seasoned with warming Caribbean spices, topped off with a finely diced and golden-sweet fresh fruit relish for extra juiciness.
Vibrant, light and colorful—the perfect tribute to the warmth and sunshine of summer before it's gone, once again, until next year.
A plate containing bright greens, yellows and golds has always drawn my eye and reminded me of an escape to someplace tropical. It whisks me away to a place where the breeze is sweet and the sand is warm and bright, and perfect for digging toes into.
It's an escape of the culinary kind.
Limes, lemons, oranges and fresh fruits give boldness and beauty to the simplicity of grilled chicken, offering a fresh option for a canvas waiting to be infused with flavor. And in no time, the tastebuds are alive and the body refueled with the delicious beauty that remains of the summer season.
So though the summer still has a bit more to offer us for just a little while longer, the time for clean and simple meals like this is now while the fruits are still at their peak sweetness.
Because once the warm breeze begins to leave us, and the light in the sky shifts and changes to a slightly more purplish hue, then it'll be on to the fruits of another season.
Taste what's good and pass it on.
Caribbean-Style Grilled Citrus Chicken with Mango-Pineapple Relish
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 4
• 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
• Olive or canola oil
• 3 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• Zest of 1 lime
• Zest of 1 lemon
• Zest of 1 orange
• Juice of ½ lime
• Juice of ½ lemon
• Juice of ½ orange
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
• Pinch or two nutmeg
• Pinch or two ground ginger
• Pinch or two allspice
• Mango-Pineapple Relish (recipe below)
• Cilantro leaves or sprigs
• Sliced lime, lemon and orange, for garnish
-Add the chicken breasts to a large bowl, and drizzle in about 1-2 tablespoons of oil; add the rest of the ingredients up to and including the allspice, and toss to coat; allow the chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or even overnight.
-Place a grill pan (or you can use your outdoor grill) on medium or medium-high heat; once hot, drizzle a touch of oil in, then add the breasts and grill for about 4-6 minutes per side, or until cooked through; set aside and allow the chicken to rest for about 5-10 minutes.
-To serve, top with a generous amount of the Mango-Pineapple Relish, plus a couple of sprigs of cilantro and some citrus slices.
Mango-Pineapple Relish Ingredients:
• 1 ripe mango, diced finely
• ½ small pineapple, diced finely (about a good ½ cup)
• ½ jalapeno, seeded and cored, and finely minced
• 1 teaspoon orange zest
-Add all ingredients into a bowl and toss together to incorporate flavors; use immediately, or store covered in fridge, using as soon as possible.