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Cilantro Chicken and Grilled Spring Salad

May 27, 2011

This meal is everything I love about food: fresh, local, healthy, flavorful, and FAST!  I was completely inspired by the farmer’s market and let the ingredients shine with their bright, spring deliciousness.  Best of all, it’s done in ONE pan…less dishes!!

Cilantro Chicken Ingredients
2 chicken cutlets
1/2 cup cilantro, packed
1/2 jalapeno
3 large cloves garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

First, trim the cilantro stems off and put the tops into the food processor.  Use a microplane to grate in the jalapeno and garlic, so nobody gets a big chunk of it on their chicken.  Add the spices and olive oil and pure until it’s a paste.

Massage the paste onto both chicken cutlets, covering completely.  Refrigerate for 3-6 hours.  Meanwhile, prepare the grilled spring salad.

Grilled Spring Salad Ingredients
1 cob of corn
2-3 scallions
1/2 lb asparagus
olive oil for brushing
salt and pepper for seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic salt

If you don’t have a grill, don’t you worry!  I did this in my little Manhattan apartment, and you can too.  Either grill or roast the corn in the oven at 400 degrees until the husk is charred.  Remove the husk and stringy stuff.  The trick to getting the corn off of the cob without making your workspace into a diaster zone is to put a small bowl upside down in a larger bowl.  Place the end of the corn on there and slide your knife down the cob.  This way, the corn lands in the big bowl.  (Shout out to Rachael Ray for that tip!)

I found these AMAZING scallions at the farmer’s market this week and they were ginormous!  I actually had to cut them in half just to fit them on my grill pan!

In any case, all you have to do is brush the scallions and asparagus with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.  Toss them on the grill or grill pan (I did scallions and then asparagus).  Let them go until they have nice grill lines and are tender.  Depending on the thickness of the asparagus, this might take a while.

Once everything is grilled up, cut the scallions and asparagus on the bias (that’s fancy talk for diagonally) in 1/ 2 inch – 1 inch pieces.  Toss the corn, scallions and asparagus together and add the garlic salt.  The olive oil from the grilled veggies should be enough to keep it moist, but if it feels dry, add another drizzle.

Back to the chicken!  After the marination is done, scrape excess cilantro paste off of the chicken.  If you don’t get it all off, no big deal, but if you leave it all on, it will turn brown and will be less appetizing.  Grill the chicken for about 6 minutes on each side.  I did this on a grill pan, but you could do it on an outdoor grill or just use a skillet.

Serve the chicken and salad with a lime wedge to brighten everything up.

This is a light and springy meal that totally got me in the mood for summer.  It’s a nice way to mix it up for your Memorial Day barbeque this year!

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