The produce stands are loading up with all the local farmers' crops. It's time to indulge. My wife, Michelle, and I recently found some excellent spinach at just such a stand in Armada. We couldn't wait to get home and start creating. While I'm grilling the chicken on the barbecue outside, Michelle throws the salad ingredients together. You'll need:
1 Lb. fresh spinach
1-2 ea. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
to taste italian dressing (homemade is best, but bottled will do)
1 ea. red pepper
1/4 Lb. mozzarella cheese, grated
2 ea. roma tomatoes, sliced
1/4 ea. red onion, sliced thin
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
6 ea. sliced mushrooms
1-2 ea. hard boiled eggs, in wedges
Marinate your chicken breasts for about one hour in the italian dressing. The general rule for homemade is 2 parts olive oil to 1 part red wine vinegar...then add maybe some chopped up fresh oregano or basil....and some fresh ground pepper and salt to taste.
Cook the chicken out on the grill and roast the red pepper out there at the same time. What a wonderful flavor the pepper gives to the salad!! Cook it until it is black on the outside, then throw it in a paper bag and the steam will loosen up the outer skin. Peel the skin and remove the seeds and cut it up for the salad.
Mix all the remaining salad ingredients together, then cut your grilled chicken into strips and place those on top of the salad with the red pepper strips and top it all off with the italian dressing. Molto bene! And as always, a creative cook is a good cook.