Sometimes the simplest dinners are the best ones, and that is definitely true when the weather is hot. Salads are ideal warm weather food but, on their own, not hearty or filling enough for a big meal. But, adding some grilled chicken and toasted pita bread instantly helps to round out this fare.
Although you'll need to leave a little time to marinate the chicken, it will be well worth it for the additional boost in flavor. And even if you can't give the marinating a full hour, even 30 minutes will help to elevate the flavor of the chicken. The actual grilling, though, goes very fast since it does not take long at all to cook chicken breast. Mediterranean flavors like oregano, olives, feta cheese, and a simple olive oil and lemon juice dressings are perfect for these easy summer meals.
This recipe is also doubly easy because the dressing and marinade are the same. Just make a double batch, separate half for the dressing and use the remaining half to marinate the chicken. One step, two uses. What could be better than that? And, of course, it means the flavors of the cooked chicken and the salad dressing will complement each other wonderfully.
- For the Marinade/Dressing:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- For the Salad:
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 2 cups baby spinach or other salad greens
- 1/2 red onion (peeled and thinly sliced)
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 1/2 cup black olives (pitted and halved)
- 1/2 cup feta cheese (crumbled)
- 4 pita bread rounds
Gather the ingredients.
In a large bowl, whisk together the half cup of olive oil, quarter cup of lemon juice, dried oregano, salt, and ground black pepper.
Reserve half in a separate bowl for the dressing. Add the chicken breasts in the remaining half of the marinade and make sure they are fully coated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour, but no more than 4 hours.
Heat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan to approximately 400 F.
Grill the chicken on one side for about 5 minutes, flip and grill for an additional 5 minutes or until it is cooked through and no longer pink.
Slice the chicken lengthwise.
In a separate bowl, toss together the baby spinach or other salad greens, cherry tomatoes, sliced red onion, olives and feta cheese. Pour on the dressing and toss together.
Assemble the salad on a platter and top with the sliced, grilled chicken, and toasted pita bread.
- When marinating, do not marinate more than 4 hours, or else the lemon juice will begin to break down the chicken.
- Be sure to discard the marinade the chicken was in and only use the reserved marinade as the dressing.
- Optional Additions: Diced bell peppers, sliced English (seedless) cucumbers, or sliced avocados.