If you’ve been following my recipes for a while now, you know that we, at the Brossette’s, love our “big salads!” Summer, winter, spring, fall… I’ll throw a big salad together for dinner at least two times a week, that encompasses whatever produce is in-season and whatever protein sounds good at the time!
Salads can be super lame. Who wants greens and a few grape tomatoes with a basic vinaigrette for dinner? NO ONE!!!! So, if you’re looking for a hearty dinner that doesn’t leave you feeling heavy – you’ve come to the right place.
This salad recipes obviously spawned from the fall months and squash being in-season. The chicken marinade MAKES this salad though and is quite possibly the easiest marinade EVER. If you don’t make this salad – at least make the chicken. And you could definitely do the same marinade with this same salad using a good, grass fed flank steak or skirt steak, if you prefer.
And can we talk about the dressing? I would dip ANYTHING into this Balsamic Dressing. It is DE-lish! Creamy, a little sweet from the balsamic, but perfect with the citrus, acidity of the chicken and really brings out the nuttiness (is that a word?) of the butternut squash!
When I put a salad together I always think in terms of textures and temperatures. I like to serve salads in really cold bowls – so step one is placing your salad bowls in the freezer or fridge for 30 minutes or a day or two prior. And I like to toss the greens with the dressing and warm protein and/or vegetables to slightly wilt the greens. This creates a heartier salad, in my opinion. But the crunch factor must be added after everything else has been tossed with the dressing so that it retains its crunchiness! And I always do some type of goat cheese or raw cheese to bring it all together. Follow these guidelines and you will have a fabulous salad every time!!
Hope you enjoy this one!!!
Primal Fall Salad with Citrus Chicken
Ingredients for the Salad:
- 1lb chicken tenders
- zest and juice of 1 small lemon
- zest and juice of 1 small orange
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp paprika
- sea salt and black pepper
- ¾ – 1lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- drizzle of olive or avocado oil
- 1, 15oz can low sodium, organic garbanzo beans, rinsed*
- 5-6 handfuls fresh baby spinach
- ¼ cup dried tart cherries
- 1 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
- 2-3 tbsp toasted pine nuts
- ¼ cup raw/unpasteurized parmesan, manchego or goat cheese crumbles
- 1 bunch chives, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
- crushed red pepper flakes
Ingredients for the Dressing:
- 1 ½ tbsp Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Directions for Salad:
- Place the chicken tenders into a large Ziploc bag with the zest/juice of the lemon and orange, thyme, paprika, two pinches of sea salt and one pinch of black pepper. Seal the bag well and toss to coat the chicken. Place in the fridge to marinade for 30 minutes, up to overnight. Once the chicken is in the marinade, make the dressing per directions below. This can be made the day ahead if you’d like.
- When ready to prep the salad, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a large baking sheet and a small baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and spray with coconut, olive or avocado oil cooking spray.
- Place the cubed butternut squash onto the large baking sheet and toss with a drizzle of olive or avocado oil, a pinch of sea salt and a pinch or two of black pepper.
- Place the garbanzo beans onto the small baking sheet and toss with a pinch of sea salt.
- Place the butternut squash onto the top rack of your oven and the garbanzo beans on the middle or bottom rack. Roast for 8-10 minutes and toss both. Roast for another 6-8 minutes, until the squash is slightly browned and easily pierced with a fork and the garbanzo beans are slightly browned and crisp. Cooking time for the squash will vary a bit based on how large you diced it – the larger the dice, the longer it will need to roast and v.v.
- While the squash and garbanzo beans are roasting, heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium heat. Once hot, place the chicken tenders onto the pan, leaving space between each piece. Let cook on one side for approx. 5 minutes, flip and cook another 3-4 minutes – or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.
- While and the chicken is cooking, place the spinach and dried tart cherries into a large salad bowl and pour dressing over the top. Place in the fridge or set aside until ready to serve.
- Once squash is finished roasting, spoon it on top of the prepared greens and then pour in the remaining salad ingredients. Toss the salad with tongs until well combined and coated with the dressing. Add the garbanzo beans last and give it one more toss. Serve!
Directions for Dressing:
- Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well until smooth and the mayo is completely incorporated. Place in the fridge until ready to serve the salad.
- After rinsing the garbanzo beans, lay them on a paper towel or dish towel in a single layer and pat dry with another paper towel or dish towel. If you have the time to let them air dry for a bit, that is ideal. But you want them as dry as possible before roasting them so that they don’t steam and therefore do not get crunchy.