Jun 16, 2009

greens, chicken, corn and pine nut tabouli

The little bit of sun we've had recently has made me hungry for salad. Crunchy greens layered with fresh veggies and loads of flavor, those are the salads that make my mouth water. So to answer that hunger last weekend we started up the grill and tended to the garden with visions of this yummy layered salad in mind. It seems like overnight 4 different kinds of greens were ready to be picked. The recipe originally called for just arugula, but I thought it would be much more interesting if I also added chard, radicchio, and two kinds of lettuce.

The taste of fresh Sweet Corn always reminds me of summer. With a flavor that is mildly sweet and almost nutty when roasted, mmmm...I think bbq and roasted chicken, potato salad and watermelon. I remember growing up we used corn holders to spear the corn on each side and then turn it slowly as we munched the kernels off the cob. Needless to say it is hard for me to resist once it starts hitting the market, and I tend to make up ways to use it on the spot when Matt (my hubby) gives me that look like do we really need it. My answer is always yes!

We grilled both the chicken and corn for this salad, and added the greens plucked straight from the garden. To add more layers, cracked wheat was on the stove warming, and parsley and mint were chopped for a hint of spice and freshness. Lemon's were picked from the neighbors tree mixed with a bit of oil, salt, and pepper for a vinaigrette. Finally all was combined and topped off with roasted pine nuts and diced tomatoes. And at the end of the night I was one happy salad maker...and eater, of course.

Recipe for Greens, Chicken, Corn and Pine Nut Tabouli
Adapted from New Food Fast by Donna Hay

3/4 cup cracked wheat
1 and 1/2 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon oil
2 chicken breast fillets
2 large bunches of greens (I used several kinds of greens from the garden and loved how all the flavors came together)
3/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
3/4 cup mint, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, large dice
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 ears of corn, roasted and cut off the cob
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and cracked black pepper
zest of one lemon

Combine the cracked wheat and boiling water in a bowl, and allow to stand until the wheat has absorbed all the water and is soft, approximately 10 minutes.

To cook the chicken, we actually grilled it because the sun was out and it was wonderful be outside tending to the garden while the chicken and the corn cooked. However, one could also pan fry the chicken in oil for 5 minutes on each side (medium-high heat), until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside to cool.

Place the greens, cracked wheat, parsley, mint, tomatoes, corn, and pine nuts in a bowl. Slice the chicken and add to the salad. In a small bowl combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and whisk. Pour over the salad and toss to combine. Finish the salad with lemon zest.

Alison's Notes:
This could very easily be made into a vegetarian / vegan salad, simply don't add the chicken.

(photography by: alison clayshulte)

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