Now that we are into the Summer season, I find that I want my dinners to be lighter and not require very much oven time, but still need to make sure I don't find myself staring into my refrigerator a few hours later because I am still hungry! I came across the original recipe for this salad while perusing Epicurious for Summer Salads/Main Course Salads. I loved making it as much as I did eating it, so wanted to share it! For those of you who like to do things by the book, here is the link to the recipe! I decided I was less interested in making the Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs, that the recipe calls for, and instead snagged a rotisserie chicken on my way out of the grocery store. And also, instead of searching for butter lettuce, I used the romaine that I already had. For a single girl with a busy week it is usually better to figure out a more realistic way to prepare dinner! So, here is my version:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tbsps Spicy Brown Mustard (Use Dijon like it calls for if you have it, this is just what I had in the refrigerator. I think it made for a great substitute though!)
couple of pinches of Dill (I didn't have fresh, but felt that dried was just as tasty)
2 tbsps honey
1 garlic clove, minced, aka, a small spoonful of the minced garlic in a jar (i love garlic, you may not, add as much as you prefer)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt & pepper
—whisk all of the ingredients together and set aside. This made more than I needed for my salad, but it is so good you may want to make a bigger batch and store in the refrigerator for future salads!
—The original recipe called for pan-frying in the leftover chicken fat. Again, no doubt that tastes amazing, but to keep it a bit more healthy and because I was not making the chicken portion, I stuck with good ole olive oil. Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a pan. Slice the baquette in a few slices that are roughly an inch thick. Cube the slices down into bite-sized pieces. I got about 6 out of each slice. Pan-fry until browned on the majority of the sides. Season with salt and set aside on a paper towels to drain.
Combine the chopped romaine, chicken, and cherries. If you don't have a fancy cherry pitter, just take a knife and cut close to the pit and then you can wedge the pit out. The final result of the cherries in the salad is to be crushed so keeping them perfect is not necessary. Toss in the croutons and the dressing and you are done!