Monday, June 9, 2008

A Favorite Summer Dinner

By the time one season starts nearing the end, I start eagerly/impatiently/irritably anticipating the beginning of the next season.  By the fall, I'm ready for Christmas and curling up by the fire on a snowy the end of winter, I'm ready for spring colors, flowers, and being the end of spring, I'm ready for flip flops and the smell of sun tan the end of summer, I'm ready for pumpkins, sweaters, and crisp cool air.  BUT one of the things I most look forward to as the seasons change are my favorite seasonal foods!  I get tired of the same old dinner menu rotations after awhile.  

One of my favorite summer dinners is a Bistro Chicken Salad I discovered a couple years ago.  It is a must try for the warmer months, complete with a homemade dressing!  

Bistro Chicken Salad
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
4 small red new potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 cup cubed mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crumbled
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup pitted and chopped Greek olives
1 large head romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces

In medium saucepan, heat chicken broth to boiling.  Add chicken, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10-15 minutes.  Remove from heat, drain, and set aside to cool.  Cut into bite-size pieces.

Place 2 inches water in saucepan, add green beans and heat to boiling.  Reduce heat to low an simmer about 7 minutes.  Remove with slotted spoon to colander, reserving water, and rinse with cold water.  In same saucepan, heat potatoes to boiling and cook 2-3 minutes.  Remove to colander and rinse with cold water.

In medium bowl, combine olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, mustard, and oregano.  Whisk to blend and set aside.  Combine reserved chicken, green beans, cheese, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, olives, and lettuce.  Toss with dressing to coat.  Enjoy!