Cooking with Lauren K: Fresh Cherry & Toasted Almond Salad w/ Garlic Herb Chicken

By Central PA Live

Published 07/23 2014 02:43PM

Updated 07/23 2014 06:24PM

Lauren Kudlawiec makes one of her summertime favorites on today’s show.
Fresh Cherry and Toasted Almond Salad with Garlic Herb Chicken
Fresh cherries are nature's true candy! Most people save cherries for pies and desserts, but this fruit also makes amazing salads and savory dishes. I buy cherries in their peak season when they are about $1.99 per pound, which is usually in mid July. They not only taste the best at this time, but they are the most affordable too! I'll eat some on their own, bake with some and throw some in delicious savory dishes like this one. The mixture of smoky almonds, salty blue cheese, sweet cherries and herbed chicken make this salad one of my summer time favorites. Enjoy!
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 5, about 3 ounces of chicken and 1 1/3 cups of salad per serving
Total Cost: $12.97
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
Salt and pepper to season
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as rosemary, thyme or sage
½ pound pitted and quartered cherries (about 20 large cherries)
1 cup slivered almonds
1 ½-2 romaine hearts, washed and chopped (about 5 cups)
½ cup blue cheese or gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Mix the minced garlic and herbs together in a small bowl and set aside. Cut the chicken in half lengthwise so that you have a total of 4 thin breasts. Lay them out on the baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with ½ a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle half of the garlic herb mix evenly over all of the pieces. Spread the mixture evenly around the breasts with your fingers. Flip the chicken pieces over, season the second side with salt and pepper, drizzle with the remaining ½ tablespoon of olive oil and top with the remaining garlic-herb mix. Spread the mixture around evenly with your fingers. Bake them for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken white in the center. Remove from the oven, let cool for a few minutes and then slice.
While the chicken baked, in a medium skillet, toast the slivered almonds over medium low heat, stirring every minute or so. Don't forget about them, as they will burn quickly. While your almonds are toasting, pit and quarter your cherries and chop your romaine lettuce. Place your romaine in your serving bowl and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper for your dressing. Toss the romaine with the dressing. Top the salad with cherries, toasted almonds, blue cheese crumbles and sliced chicken breast. Serve cold or at room temperature!
Nutritional Information
Calories: 384  Total Fat: 23.7g      Saturated Fat: 4.5g 
Sodium: 512.9mg    Carbohydrates: 19.6g    Fiber: 4.4g 
Sugar: 12.5g  Protein: 27.2g    Cholesterol: 62.1mg
Lauren K specializes in healthy meals that won’t break your budget. For more great ideas, visit Lauren K’s Kitchen.

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