This salad contains all my favorite foods: roasted peppers, olives, and spinach. The clever salami crisps were inspired by cookbook author Rozanne Gold.
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 boneless chicken breast halves with skin, tenders separated, breasts lightly pounded
3 red bell peppers
1/4 pound thinly sliced Genoa salami or pancetta
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
6 ounces assorted brine-cured olives, such as Calamata, Niçoise and green Sicilian, pitted and coarsely chopped ( 1/2 cup)
1 medium shallot, minced
1 tablespoon chopped capers
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 pound fresh spinach, tough stems removed
6 small radishes, cut into 1-by- 1/4 -inch matchsticks or thin wedges
How to Make It
In a large nonreactive baking dish, combine 1/4 cup of the olive oil with the lemon juice and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken breasts and tenders, turn to coat and let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour, turning once.
Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Broil the red peppers as close to the heat as possible, turning with tongs, until black all over. Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool. Peel, seed and core the peppers. Cut them into 3-by- 1/4 -inch strips.
Turn the oven to 425°. Arrange the salami or pancetta slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until browned. Transfer to paper towels to drain. When cool enough to handle, break the slices into 1-inch pieces.
In a medium bowl, combine the olives, shallot, capers, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil; don't worry if the dressing separates.
Heat a grill pan or cast-iron skillet over moderate heat. When the pan is hot, season the chicken with salt and pepper and grill or pan-fry until browned and crusty, about 4 minutes per side for the breasts and 3 minutes per side for the tenders. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes, then slice crosswise 1/2 inch thick. Reserve any juices.
Just before serving, stir the parsley and any accumulated chicken juices into the dressing. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, radishes, roasted peppers and salami chips and toss with half of the dressing. Mound the salad on 4 large plates or a large platter and arrange the chicken on top. Spoon the remaining dressing over the chicken.
Make Ahead: All the elements can be refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 days.
Wine Recommendation: The sharp, lively flavors in this salad call for a straightforward dry white to cleanse the palate between bites. Consider a Rioja, such as the 1994 Marqués de Cáceres Blanco or the 1994 Bodegas Montecillo Cumbrero Blanco.
This was mighty tasty although I did make adjustments. I seasoned chicken breast, sautéed in EVOO briefly and then poached in ckn broth instead of grilling (rainy day). Did not have spinach, used arugula. Did not have shallots, used green onions. Used jarred roasted red peppers, drained and chopped; did not do salami. I did follow directions for dressing and it was way too chunky. Next time I would add the olives, capers and shallots (onions) to the salad and just make dressing from EVOO, vinegar, dijon, and SP. Also added some chopped artichoke hearts (more antipasto!). Teenage son who hates vegetable ate 2 servings. That makes it a keeper.
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