Sometimes you can't get any simpler than a salad for dinner. Take some greens, add a little of this or that, and get creative. You can pick up a few ingredients, like a roast or rotisserie chicken, from the store, or find ways to use the leftovers in the fridge. For a quick dinner salad that's saved me on many a weeknight, check out this recipe for mixed greens with chicken, goat cheese and pecans below.
Mixed greens with chicken, goat cheese and pecans
Total time: 25 minutes
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
1 prepared rotisserie chicken, warm or at room temperature
9 cups loosely packed spinach
6 cups arugula
3 cups torn dandelion greens
1/2 red onion, sliced lengthwise into very thin strips
1 cup brined olives, such as niçoise or kalamata
1/3 cup capers
1/2 pound fresh goat cheese
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the pecans with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Spread the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 10 to 14 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
2. While the nuts are toasting, prepare the dressing: In a medium bowl, place the remaining one-half cup oil. Whisk in the sherry vinegar, then the mustard. Whisk in the thyme, oregano, one-half teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper. Taste and adjust as desired. This makes about 1 cup vinaigrette.
3. Remove the legs and breasts from the chicken. Chop the chicken into coarse cubes and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, arugula and dandelion greens. Toss in the red onion, olives and capers, then dress with one-half cup of dressing. Toss the salad, adding additional dressing as desired. Toss in the cubed chicken.
5. Divide the salad between 4 plates. Crumble the goat cheese in large chunks over the salads, then sprinkle over the pecans. Serve immediately.
Each of 8 servings: 469 calories; 30 grams protein; 7 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 37 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 81 mg. cholesterol; 697 mg. sodium.