|Grilled Apple and Chicken Salad with Cider Maple Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons olive oil or safflower oil
1 tablespoon sugar
3 large apples (Gala, Honeycrisp or your favorite variety)
2 boneless skinless chicken breast (about 12 ounces)
5 ounces mixed baby greens
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup raisins
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
1/2 cup safflower oil
2 ounces hard, salty cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano, Manchego, or Pecorino, shaved
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Core the apples and slice them into 1/4-inch wedges. Brush both sides of the apple pieces with a bit of oil. Sprinkle each piece with a pinch of sugar. Brush the chicken with oil and season both sides with salt and pepper.
Put the apples and chicken on clean, well oiled grill grates. Grill the apple pieces 2 minutes per side, until grill marks form. Remove from grill and set aside. Continue grilling the chicken until cooked through, 5-7 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and let cool slightly before slicing into 1/4-inch pieces.
While the chicken cooks, prepare the vinaigrette. Whisk the mustard, salt, pepper, maple syrup and cider vinegar together until combined. Add the oil in a slow steady stream, whisking briskly to form an emulsion.
Toss the almonds and raisins with the mixed greens. Top with apples, chicken and shaved cheese. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve immediately. -Serves 4- Tara Mataraza Desmond, Crumbs On My Keyboard.