Mediterranean Pesto Chicken Salad with Fresh Herb Vinaigrette

Step 1 : Preheat the oven to broil on high and position the rack in the upper third of the oven.

Step 2: Pat chicken dry with paper towels and place on a cutting board.

Holding a knife parallel to the cutting board, cut the chicken in half horizontally to form thin cutlets. Transfer cutlets to a baking sheet pan.

  • – 1 ½ lb chicken breasts, boneless skinless

Step 3 : Drizzle chicken with olive oil, then season lightly with salt and pepper.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and broil, flipping the chicken halfway through, until almost cooked through about 8 minutes.

  • – 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (reduced from 4 tsp)

  • – ¼ tsp salt (reduced from ½ tsp)

  • – ⅛ tsp black pepper (reduced from ¼ tsp)

Step 4 :

Meanwhile, wash and dry the fresh produce.

  • – 2 heads romaine lettuce (more nutrient-rich than butter lettuce)

  • – 4 tomatoes

  • – 1 English cucumber

  • – 1 small pkg fresh basil

Step 5 : Using a clean cutting board, chop or tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Place in a large bowl.

Step 6 : Dice tomatoes. Add to the bowl with the lettuce.

Step 7 : Trim and halve cucumber lengthwise, then cut crosswise into thin half-moons. Add to the bowl.

Step 8 : Pick basil leaves off the stems, roll them up crosswise, and thinly slice into ribbons. Add to the bowl, toss to combine the salad, and set aside.

Step 9 : When the chicken is almost cooked through, remove from the oven.

Spread each cutlet with a thin layer of pesto and sprinkle with a bit of cheese. Return the baking sheet to the oven and continue to broil until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through, 2-3 minutes more. Remove from the oven.

  • – ¼ cup sun-dried tomato pesto (reduced from ½ cup to cut down on oil and salt)

  • – ½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (reduced from 1 cup and switched to a lighter cheese)

Step 10 : Slice chicken into strips.

Step 11 : Serve and Enjoy

To serve, divide salad between plates or bowls and drizzle lightly with a homemade vinaigrette; top with chicken. Enjoy!

Homemade Vinaigrette:

  • – 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • – 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • – 1 tsp honey (or to taste)

  • – 1 small minced garlic clove

  • – Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl or jar and whisk or shake well until combined.

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