Refreshing Tomato Chicken Salad for Labor Day Weekend
Posted by infinitygoods on September 1, 2007
Happy Labor Day Weekend!
It’s the last long weekend of the summer and for many of us in the United States it means a great barbecue with family and friends or even a potluck. Where we live right now it has been far too hot this last week with the weather people predicting no relief in sight, so no barbecue for us this year. The news and even commercials have been telling us to not use our appliances until after 7 p.m. to prevent power grid outages. Usually in the middle of the night when it’s cool we can open windows, but with this heat wave we’ve been forced to keep our air conditioning on 24/7. The front page of the paper showed a local business’ room-thermometer’s needle hitting the maximum reading of 120 degrees Farenheit, or 50 degrees Centigrade!
With all this heat I was inspired yesterday to make something which required no cooking whatsoever. It tasted great, and after lots of compliments I thought I would share it with you. It will be a hit at your Labor Day potluck or your family’s table. I thought about what was in my refrigerator and came up with this spur-of-the-moment recipe, and it was refreshing and quick — ready in about 10 minutes flat. You can’t beat that!
Get yourself a serving bowl and a cutting board. I grabbed four small tomatoes on the vine and sliced them. They’re only about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. I love the grape-sized tomatoes too. If you prefer, you could use about four handfuls of those and leave whole, or if you’re patient, cut in halves. One great big tomato will do too, but then you’ll need to dice it. Add about an equal amount of mozzarella cheese, diced. If you don’t have any on hand, a feta or Baby Bell or provolone should work well, too. Whichever cheese you choose, pick one that’s not too hard like a comte or too soft like a triple cream brie.
I always have sun-dried tomatoes at the ready. They add some really nice flavor which you adjust from mild to strong simply by the amount you use. This time I used about 10, which I minced. I had a beautiful roasted chicken on hand, so I put in a whole breast, also diced. Here, instead of the roasted chicken you could substitute tuna, salmon, crab or sardines. They would all taste great too, so just use what you happen to have and love.
Add some dried spices like Chef Emeril’s Bam or 21-Spice No Salt Seasoning found in a small, convenient bottle so you won’t loose too much flavor over time. No worries if you don’t have any, just add your favorite spices to taste like thyme, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, some onion and garlic powder. Add fresh sweet basil leaves. We love basil so I put in lots, fresh from our yard. Mint leaves would work very nicely, too.
Add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some balsamic vinegar. Toss the whole salad and it’s ready! Try it. I know you’ll love it and it’s real healthy. Any leftovers can be turned into a great sandwich, too.
Enjoy! Bon appetit!