Peaches, corn, and avocados may not sound like a traditional combination, but they are amazing together. For a vegetarian version of this salad, drop the chicken and substitute ½ lb of blanched green beans. The spicy cashew dressing is so good, you’ll certainly find multiple uses for it, including making up your own seasonal salad or platter of roasted vegetables.
This recipe is excerpted from Pamela Salzman’s debut cookbook, Kitchen Matters: More Than 100 Recipes and Tips to Transform the Way You Cook and Eat — Wholesome, Nourishing, Unforgettable. It’s available now.
Grilled Summer Salad With Chicken
1½ lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 medium size)
Unrefined olive oil for brushing chicken, peaches, and corn
½ tsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 medium-size firm but ripe peaches, pitted and quartered
3 ears sweet corn, husked and silks removed
6-7 oz baby romaine lettuce, butter lettuce, or mixed greens (about 8 c)
4 green onions, green and white parts, thinly sliced1 large or 2 small avocados, peeled, pitted, and cubed
1/3 c DF sweet and spicy pecans or candied pecans, such as Trader Joe’s prepared pecans
1. Heat a grill to medium to medium-high heat, about 400º. Alternatively, you can use a cast-iron grill pan. Brush the chicken lightly with oil and season with paprika, salt, and pepper. Place the chicken on the grill and flip when the sides of the breasts are white and they can be released easily from the grill. Continue to cook on the other side until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160º-165 º. This should take around 7 minutes per side. Set the chicken aside to rest. This can be done up to 1 day ahead of time and the chicken refrigerated.
2. Brush the peaches and corn lightly with oil. Grill until the peaches and corn have light grill marks, turning occasionally. This should only take a minute or two on each side. Set aside to cool, then slice the peaches crosswise into thirds or fourths and cut the corn kernels off the cob.
3. Slice the chicken crosswise into 1/2-in slices or as desired.
4. Place the mixed greens in a bowl. Add the corn and green onions, drizzle with spicy cashew dressing (recipe below) to lightly coat and toss. Arrange on a platter and top with the peaches, avocado, and pecans. Drizzle with additional dressing and serve. Leftover dressing can stay in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Spicy Cashew Dressing
¼ c raw cashews, soaked 4-6 hours in water and drained, or ¼ c raw cashew butter
2 T unseasoned rice vinegar
2 T unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1½ tsp pure Grade A maple syrup or mild raw honey
1 medium-size garlic clove
½ tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
A few grinds of black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1. Place 1/4 c water and all the dressing ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. (This will take a little longer in a food processor.) Taste for seasoning. Refrigerate until ready to use. The dressing will thicken as it sits, especially if refrigerated overnight.