Last evening we enjoyed our first al fresco meal of the year. This cool salad that I adapted from the Martha Stewart kitchens was an ideal outdoor Spring dinner. The ingredients cooked quickly in two batches in a steamer basket. Dinner was ready in less than a half hour with very little cleanup.
The recipe calls for steaming the potatoes and chicken together for 12 to 14 minutes. I found the timing to be right on. Since I used boneless skinless chicken tenders instead of full chicken breasts, they were cooked at the same time as the potatoes. The sugar snap peas took only 2 minutes longer. Be sure to run cold water over the peas in a colander to stop the cooking and retain their bright green color. Regular green beans or even asparagus would be a good substitute for the sugar snap peas if you can't find them.
I've given the ingredients for Martha's olive oil vinaigrette. It's lemony and delicious but if you're a Weight Watcher, it elevates the Points to 8. You can use a low- or nonfat vinaigrette to cut calories/Points, or you can simply use less of this recipe and squeeze extra lemon juice over the salad, which is a good idea no matter how you serve it. Bear in mind that we need a small amount of good fats like olive oil in our daily diets.
Here's to a healthy Spring and lots of al fresco dining.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8 oz. each)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 sprigs fresh oregano plus 1 tsp. chopped oregano
12 oz. new potatoes, cut into 1-inch wedges
8 oz. sugar snap peas, trimmed (2 cups)
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups torn mixed red- and green-leaf lettuces
Sliced feta cheese and Nicoise olives, for serving
Set a steamer basket in a wide pot containing 1-inch of water and bring to a boil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Lay oregano leaves in bottom of basket; add chicken and potatoes. Reduce heat to medium, cover and steam until potatoes are fork-tender, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer potatoes to a plate; add sugar snap peas to basket. Cover and cook until peas are tender and chicken is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to plate; run peas under cold water in a colander. Shred chicken into bite-size pieces.
Whisk together lemon juice, Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp. water and olive oil. Stir in chopped oregano. season with salt and pepper. Arrange lettuces, potatoes, chicken and peas on a platter and lightly drizzle with dressing. Arrange on plates with cheese and olives. Drizzle with additional dressing and serve.