Summer is all about grilling and making salads. Combine the two into one big hearty dish and you've got the makings for a terrific main course salad that's perfect for a light but satisfying dinner. Chicken is a great choice to bulk up greens with because it's quick to grill and goes with everything. If you decide to use leftover chicken instead of cooking on the grill, the dish is even easier to assemble.
Here, I started with fresh chicken, cooked on the grill (an indoor grill pan is also an option) to develop crispy charred edges and then sliced into strips. I had a big, juicy mango, a bag of baby spinach, and a red onion on hand—a great combo for a salad—so all I had to do was decide on the dressing. One of my favorite flavors for chicken is honey mustard, so I whisked up a quick dressing and tossed it all together. At the last minute I decided to sauté the onions briefly to help take off their raw edge (but feel free to skip this step if you'd like). For a final touch I tossed in some crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds. With only minimal effort, this salad of juicy grilled chicken, grassy spinach, sweet mango, and zingy honey mustard makes for a quick, fresh meal that makes a lot of summer sense.
About the author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of the new cookbook One Bowl Baking: Simple From Scratch Recipes for Delicious Desserts (Running Press, October 2013), also available at Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Powell's, and The Book Depository. Watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. Follow her Chocoholic, Chicken Dinners, Singapore Stories and Let Them Eat Cake columns on Serious Eats. Follow Yvonne on Twitter as she explores Singapore.