JoyFoodly has recently partnered with Whole Foods Market in Northern California to help families gets more seasonal fruits and vegetables into their diets. The ‘Now in Season’ program at Whole Foods will feature one seasonal produce pick every month, and JoyFoodly is creating fun family recipes with those fruits and veggies. This month strawberries are in season, and we’re diving into their sweet berry flavors on a savory salad your whole family will love.
What is your all time favorite salad you order when eating out? Does it have just the right balance of sweet and savory notes and gives you that crunchy comfort food feel? Is it so satisfying that the bacon burger sitting on your friend’s plate doesn’t even cross your mind? With strawberries at their peak of juicy sweetness, I’m honoring their perfection in this restaurant quality salad that you can make for your family at home.
What I adore about this salad is that it truly hits all the pleasure notes and is so easy to assemble. The creamy and tangy goat cheese balances the sweet strawberry vinaigrette. The perfectly moist chicken breasts add that filling, meaty flavor packed in their lean protein package. And as a Southern raised chef, I of course had to throw in some crunchy pecans.
To get started on the salad we included a short technique video that shows how to make a perfectly moist chicken breast every time. Once you taste the strawberry vinaigrette you may want to use the leftovers to top all sorts of foods, especially our homemade Buttermilk Parmesan Baked Crispy Chicken Fingers!
Make sure you check out our last video on how to prep strawberries!
- Strawberries (fresh), 16 oz. container
- Pecans, 1 cup
- Spinach, 6 cups (or 1 bag)
- Goat Cheese, plain, 5 oz
- Chicken breasts, skinless, boneless, 2
- Olive oil, 1-2 tablespoons
- Salt, 1-2 teaspoons
- Champagne vinegar, 2 TBS
- Agave, 3 TBS
- Strawberries, 1 cup (approximately 4 large strawberries from the 16 oz container)
- Dijon mustard, 1 tsp
- Poppy seeds, 1/2 tsp
- Salt, ¼ tsp
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil, ¼ cup
- Take 5 minutes to get out all your ingredients, measuring and cooking equipment needed, and place them on a cookie sheet within easy reach.
- Take your chicken breasts out of the refrigerator and set aside while you get your other ingredients prepped.
- Make the salad dressing: measure the strawberry vinaigrette ingredients, place them in a blender and pulse until combined.
- Wash and cut the remaining strawberries into any size you like (slice, quarter, etc).
- Wash and dry spinach.
- Crumble goat cheese and set aside.
- Use our 6 step method for perfectly seared chicken breasts. Substitution note: a fast substitution would be to use the breast meat from a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken!
- On both sides: dry off raw chicken breasts with paper towels, sprinkle with a pinch of salt (about 1 teaspoon each) and drizzle a small amount of olive oil onto both sides of chicken (about 1 tablespoon each).
- Juice 2 lemons: about ½ cup liquid.
- Get out an aluminum sauté pan and turn your flame on medium high heat (no oil in pan).
- Place the chicken breast down (rounded side down) in hot pan. If you wiggle it a little when you put it in the pan, it will keep it from sticking. Do NOT touch it for 3 minutes.
- Flip chicken over in pan; turn heat on low; add your liquid and place thyme branches on top of chicken; cover with lid and set timer for 12 minutes to cook on low.
- When the 12-minute timer buzzes, take off the lid, remove chicken and let rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting or serving.
- Layer your salad jars in the order you like, alternating the fruit, spinach, chicken, goat cheese and pecans.
- Enjoy each salad jar with a few tablespoons of strawberry vinaigrette. Save the rest of the dressing for another salad night! It’s so good you’ll want to put it on everything.
- If you are not using jars, just mix all ingredients in a bowl and drizzle with dressing just before serving.
- While your chicken is resting, turn the heat back up on high to reduce the leftover liquid in the pan. After it has reduced down to a thicker consistency, turn the heat on low and whisk in a tablespoon of butter and a pinch of black pepper. Check for seasoning. Enjoy over slices of your moist chicken breasts!
- The best way to cut any meat is against its natural grain. This will help the meat melt in your mouth!
- Juice and zest of 1-2 oranges and a pinch of curry powder
- Juice and zest of 1-2 lemons and fresh rosemary
- Juice and zest of 1-2 limes and a pinch of cumin powder
- ½ cup of white wine with some fresh thyme