Fireworks Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Salad with Radicchio and Endive
Fireworks Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Salad with Radicchio and Endive - Adapted Recipe inspired by Rachel Ray’s Wilted Radicchio, Endive and Asparagus Salad
For this Mother’s Day I’ve turned to this salad to inspire you moms to eat your colorful veggies. This salad has all the colors and some amazing flavors. My mom and I love classic Greek Salads. This is a bit different version updated with some of my favorite Greek Salad components. It is adapted from a Rachel Ray recipe from 2011. My version uses a marinated grilled chicken and a bit of feta.
The grilled chicken in this salad makes the work totally worth while. I love making the garlic paste and using Fireworks Greek Vinaigrette as the marinade and dressing. It's a great technique to learn for a lot of chicken recipes.
I'll be honest, using radicchio as a base to the salad was a first for me. I’m up for trying new things for the base of my salad, but the radicchio I had on hand was far more bitter than I had planned. On my first try, I knew it could be better. So, I did a bit of reading up on it. Apparently, radicchio comes into season in the fall. I tried my version in April…Could be one reason for the bitterness, another reason could have been the variety of radicchio.
According to acclaimed chef Maria Hazan, courtesy of Food 52, “The noblest members of the family—radicchio di Castelfranco, radicchio di Treviso, tardivo di Treviso—make an eagerly awaited entrance around November...The greatest of the three, and, in my opinion, the most magnificent vegetable grown, is Treviso’s dazzling tardivo or late-harvest radicchio.”
Not all radicchios are created equal, I see. Anyhow, I loved the crisp freshness despite the slight bitter taste. But it did give me pause to try mellower green leaves in addition to the curly radicchio next time. I also didn't heat the dressing to wilt it, like Rachel Ray did. If you are not a fan of radicchio leave it out. I might only use half of a head next time. But play with whatever other salad leaves you wish. I’m always game for adding romaine to any Mediterranean dish, especially salads.
2-3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
¼ c Fireworks Greek Vinaigrette + 2 Tbs for marinade
1 tbs chopped fresh oregano
2 Lemons, juiced
1 tbs salt
1 tsp pepper
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped, about 1 tbs
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut on an angle into 2-inch pieces
1 head radicchio, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise (or swap with 1 heart of Romaine, thinly sliced crosswise, or use a combo of both)
1 pound endive (about 3 heads), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 tablespoon chopped pepperoncini
½ c crumbled feta
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
For the chicken: Juice two lemons and pour in a large mixing bowl. Add minced garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tsp pepper and 1 tablespoon chopped oregano. Mash into a paste. Add two tbs Fireworks Greek Vinaigrette dressing. Stir with a whisk until well combined. Add chicken breasts and stir to coat. Let sit on the counter and marinate for at least 30 minutes, turning once. Heat grill to 500. Add chicken and grill for 5 minutes a side. Check for doneness. Once done, set to cool on a plate. Once cool, slice into thin pieces 1 inch by ¼ inch. Set in fridge to chill for 5-10 minutes while you prep the other items.
In a medium nonstick skillet, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate.
In the same skillet, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and cook until bright green and crisp-tender, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with the radicchio (or romaine), endive and pepperoncini. Add the chicken, ½ cup feta, parsley, and pine nuts. Top with a little more Greek vinaigrette. Using tongs, mix until well combined. Shake. Drizzle. Boom. Happy Mother's Day!