Yesterday, being the first day of Spring, I was already thinking about the lighter, fresher foods of the season and ready to say good bye to the slow roasted, long cooking heavier meals of Winter. With that mindset, I decided to "practice" up for outdoor grilling season and break out the big cast iron double burner grill pan. This all grilled dinner was light and fresh, just as I had planned, but was also big on flavor!
The first thing I did was to preheat the grill pan until it was hot and just starting to smoke. While the grill pan was heating, I took to chopping the vegetables. Leaving the root end intact, I cut a red onion in half, through the root and then cut each half in half again. The root act as a little bit of an anchor so that the onion does not fall completely apart on the grill. I placed the onion in a large bowl. Next, I chopped a yellow and red pepper into large bite sized chunks and placed them in the bowl with the onion. Cut a small yellow squash in half lengthwise and toss that in with the other veggies and along with some cubed pieces of crusty bread. I drizzled on some olive oil and salt and pepper and combined well so they were all evenly coated. Then, it is just a matter of grilling everything so that they develop nice grill marks and some smoky flavor, but not so long that they loose their texture and get mushy. Once grilled, chop all of the vegetables into bite size pieces and return to the bowl. While warm toss with the vinaigrette (the recipe is below), a handful of chopped herbs (I used parsley and dill) and crumbled goat cheese.
Chicken paillard is nothing more than a boneless skinless chicken breast which has been pounded out to an even thickness of about 1/4 inch, which is what I did. I marinated the chicken breast with a few tablespoons of vinaigrette a few minutes before grilling. I grilled the chicken for about 5-6 minutes on each side, basting with the vinaigrette several times. Place the chicken breast on a plate and tumble over the grilled vegetable and bread salad. Finish with some more fresh herbs and some freshly cracked black pepper.
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove of garlic, minced
several tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Combine first five ingredients and, while wisking, drizzle in olive oil until an emulsion forms. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust as necessary.