This salad is a lovely and light “one platter” meal for those hot summer days. The warmth of the cutlets over the chilled baby spinach, cooks the leaves slightly, allowing you to bite into a refreshing combination of textures — soft and crunchy. I first served this on a hot day in Italy, and was taken by not only the beauty of the fabulous colors on the platter, but also the lemony and nutty flavors of the greens. Arugula can be substituted for the spinach, which will give it a more “peppery” flavor. Accompanied by a freshly made basket of rolls, you now have an elegant lunch. Andiamo Mangiare!
Summertime Spinach and Turkey Cutlet Salad
- Make your coating for the cutlets according to instructions above
- Salad Dressing: Mix all ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Coating for Cutlets: Combine all of the above in a blender until fine crumbs are made – adjust seasonings to taste
If cutlets are thick, pound with meat hammer until the cutlets are about ¼” thick. Put coating mixture in a small pan and coat both sides of the cutlets well with the crumbs.
- Coat the bottom of a cast iron or other heavy duty skillet with olive oil and 1 Tablespoon of butter (to prevent burning) and heat. Once sizzling, reduce the heat to medium, add the cutlets and brown on both sides. Tip: don’t turn the cutlets over until they are ready to “release” from the pan or else all the coating will come off the cutlet!
- Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables and fruit for the salad (slicing etc)
- Fill the bottom of your serving platter w/ the baby spinach and toss lightly with the dressing and then a sprinkling of onion salt and fresh parmesan cheese (or dress in a bowl and transfer to platter afterwards).
- Once the cutlets are cooked and while they are still warm, lay them over the bed of baby spinach, overlapping slightly to create some height in the center of your platter. Your baby spinach is going to cook slightly from the heat of the warm cutlets.
- Creatively, arrange your fruit and vegetables on top of the meat, and finish with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese and red onion.
- Serve while the cutlets are still warm.
Sometimes color can be almost as important as flavor in producing a successful recipe. That is one of the reasons I find so much joy in using fresh garden vegetables, whether they are cooked into the dish or simply used as a garnish or an accompaniment. Fresh herbs can also enhance an otherwise plain or ordinary entrée.
Right now our gardens are rich with a profusion of healthy herbs — so lush and fragrant that when I am in the midst of them I understand why Paddington, the cat, would often lie right down and roll around in a bed of them. I love to keep a collection of freshly picked herbs in front of me on the kitchen counter where I can bury my face in them from time to time and remember to include them in whatever I may be cooking.
Today I am making savory herbed chorizo chicken breasts using both garden vegetables and herbs to notify both the eye and the palette.
Savory Herbed Chorizo Chicken
4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
½ teaspoon salt, divided
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup Mexican pork chorizo, casings removed
¼ cup sliced onion
2 tablespoons diced carrot
¼ cup diced yellow bell pepper
¼ cup diced red bell pepper
¼ cup white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
- Sprinkle chicken with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper.
- Coat pan with cooking spray.
- Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.
- While chicken cooks, heat a large skillet over medium – high heat.
- Add chorizo; cook 1 minute, stirring to crumble.
- Add remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, onion, and carrot; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add bell peppers; cook 1 minute or until crisp-tender.
- Add wine, cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
- Spoon chorizo mixture over chicken; top with cilantro or any choice of fresh herbs ( rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage)