Take some crunchy, fresh Granny Smith apples, or whatever kind of apple you prefer, and mix them with toasted walnuts, creamy cheese, on a bed of baby spinach and greens and top with a piece of juicy grilled marinated chicken and you have a wonderful light summer salad that is big on flavor! You are going to love the combination of flavors in this beautiful salad! It is topped with a homemade poppy seed dressing that is super simple to make. I used blue cheese because I just love the bite that it has with the sweet apple and the grilled chicken, but you can substitute feta cheese, or really whatever kind of cheese you prefer.
You will marinate the chicken while you whip up the homemade dressing. As you can tell, if you've read some of my other recipes, I love marinades! I love the way they add flavor and moistness to meat or chicken.
Here's what you need for two salads:
For the chicken;
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup olive oil
1 t of each ; dried basil, oregano, thyme and granulated garlic
Mix the oil and the seasonings and pour over chicken and let it marinate while you make the dressing.
For the dressing:
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
6 T honey
pinch of salt
1/2 t dry mustard
1 t celery leaves chopped
1 green onion ( white part only)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 t poppy seeds
Combine the vinegar, honey, salt, mustard, celery leaves, and green onion in a food processor. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the oil to emulsify. Season to taste and stir in poppy seeds.
Now preheat the grill to medium high heat. Grill the chicken on one side undisturbed for about 5 minutes to make grill marks then turn and cook about 7-9 minutes more or until internal temperature reaches 165. Take off of the grill and cover to keep warm.
Assemble the salad. You will need:
2 cups a mix of baby spinach and baby spring mix
2 T blue cheese crumbles (or other cheese you prefer)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts ( to toast, place walnuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes at 350)
1 Granny Smith apple sliced thinly and then the slices cut in half
cherry tomatoes cut in half
Place greens, tomatoes, apples in bowls. Slice the warm chicken breasts thinly. Place the chicken on top of the salads, Sprinkle with the cheese and toasted walnuts.. Stir the poppy seed dressing and drizzle it over the salads. YUM!