One of the things I’ve gotten into the habit of doing is preparing a protein at the beginning of the week and riffing off of it during the week. It saves a lot of time and helps me eat relatively healthfully even with my crazy schedule. This week it’s chicken breasts, which happened to go with this beautiful salad I saw in Food and Wine. It also gave me a chance to use the mint in my garden which has clearly hatched a diabolical plot to take over the world. Or at least New Castle.
Besides, who wants to cook every day when it’s 94 degrees outside?
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Chardonnay vinegar or other white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons grated Meyer lemon zest
tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely minced shallot
1 teaspoon honey
1 pound fresh snow peas (about 6 cups)
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup toasted sliced Macadamia nuts
Rinse your sliced onion in very cold water and pat until dry. This takes a bit of the bite out of raw onion.
Whisk together oil, vinegar, zest and juice, shallot and honey in a large bowl.
Thinly slice the snow peas lengthwise (about 4 slices each).
Add peas, chicken, ricotta, and onion to dressing in bowl.
Chiffonade your mint leaves and add to the bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir salad until well combined. Sprinkle with nuts.
This salad actually holds up pretty well in the fridge for a day or two since there are no delicate lettuce leaves.
Add some crusty Italian bread and a Gruner Veltliner to round out your dinner. Try this one: Gruber Roschitz Gruner Veltliner DAC Muhlberg. It’s got the slightly tart, minerally taste, but errs on the Chardonnay side just a little - something I usually tend toward. If you prefer one a little more traditional, go with Winzer Krems Gruner Veltliner Wachtberg Kermstal Dac Reserve, 2017.