We’ve been loading up on soups, stews and comfort food like crazy people around here. This weather just lends itself to such deliciousness, don’t you think? But geez louise we must switch things up once in a blue moon! This salad-it’s just fantastic for this time of year. It’s still a bit comforting and warm but the flavors are so light and fresh…a combo after my own heart!
There’s a couple of different layers of bliss going on here, guys. The chicken is pan roasted-my very favorite method of yielding the most juicy, savory, perfectly cooked chicken breasts that are otherwise so darn blah. Add bell pepper to the roasting pan for the last few minutes of cooking and you just won’t even believe what happens. The flavor will knock you on your you know what.
Then we’ve got cooked, warm farro and barley. Hearty, nutty and packed with nutrients. Toss those warm grains in a bowl with baby spinach and a bit of the bright, fresh Greek vinaigrette and technically, according to the flavor fairies of the world, you could just stop there and go to town. But, next, we add cherry tomatoes, the diced chicken and roasted peppers. Because I told you…flavors.
Give it another toss, add more vinaigrette if needed and plate it up. And for the finale, sprinkle on tart, creamy goat cheese and add a little crunch from the pine nuts and I promise you will fall in salad-love, friends. I love this one so much…and I hope you do too!
Greek Grain + Roasted Chicken Salad
notes: I listed farro and barley below for the grains because they are my favorite combination for this recipe-feel free to play around with your favorites; quinoa is also a good option for this one. Both farro and barley can be found in the rice/grain section of most supermarkets.
For the Vinaigrette
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 Large Garlic Clove, grated or pressed
1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 Teaspoon Honey
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
For the Salad
1 Cup Farro
1 Cup Barley
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, seasoned liberally with salt + pepper
1 Red, Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
4 Cups Packed Baby Spinach Leaves
1/2 Cup Sliced Cherry Tomatoes
2 Ounces Goat Cheese, crumbled
1/4 Cup Pine Nuts
For the Vinaigrette
Combine all ingredients in a jar with a tightly sealed lid and shake well until combined. Can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Leftovers refrigerate well, too.
For the Salad
Cook farro and barley according to package directions.
While grains are cooking, preheat oven to 400. Heat oil in a large oven safe skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes, or until a nice golden crust forms. Flip chicken over, sprinkle the peppers around the the chicken and transfer the pan to the oven. Roast for 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes and then chop into pieces.
Add the farro, barley and spinach to a large bowl and drizzle with 1/3 Cup Vinaigrette; toss to coat. Add the chicken, peppers and tomatoes and toss; add more vinaigrette, if desired. Spoon salad onto plates and top with goat cheese and pine nuts. Serves 2+