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Grilled chicken and pear salad with hazelnut vinaigrette

Published On: May 01 2012 11:11:15 AM CDT
Updated On: Jun 14 2012 04:49:40 AM CDT
Chicken salad

marsy/SXC

Makes 4 servings

The pronounced flavor of hazelnut oil is especially pleasing on bitter greens such as Belgian endive. (Other greens it complements include curly endive, dandelion greens, and escarole). An artful arrangement of a mixture of these leaves with personality topped with chicken, pears, and hazelnuts creates a memorable salad indeed.

For the chicken

16 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Olive oil for brushing

Dash of salt and pepper

For the vinaigrette

¼ cup red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons hazelnut oil

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/8 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

Salt to taste

To complete the recipe

2 large ripe pears, halved lengthwise, each half cut into 3/8-inch slices

Olive oil for brushing 20 leaves Belgian endive (2 heads)

12 leaves leaf lettuce

Freshly ground pepper, crumbled mild feta cheese, and toasted hazelnuts for garnish

Heat a stovetop grill pan over high heat. Lightly brush both sides of the chicken breasts with oil. Reduce the heat to medium-high; cook for 5 minutes per side or until lightly browned and thoroughly cooked. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl.

Lightly brush the pear slices with oil; cook on the preheated grill for 10 to 15 seconds per side or just until the grill markings become light brown. Transfer to a plate.

To assemble the salads, arrange the endive and leaf lettuce on plates. Slice the chicken into thin strips; arrange atop the greens along with the pear slices. Drizzle with the vinaigrette, sprinkle with pepper, and garnish with feta cheese and hazelnuts.