Grilled Chicken Salad with Radicchio and Spinach

Tossed with fresh pesto and drizzled with a sweet balsamic dressing, this impressive salad is so satisfying; it belongs on the dinner table.


Balsamic Reduction
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. honey

Arugula Pesto
2 cups arugula leaves, packed
2 tbsp. chopped pistachios
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
3 to 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

3 chicken breasts
Olive oil, as needed for grilling
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 vidalia onion, sliced into 1/2-inch rings
1 head radicchio
8 cups baby spinach
2 to 3 apricots, cut into wedges
Handful pistachios, roughly chopped
Parmesan cheese, shaved or grated


Balsamic Reduction
Add balsamic vinegar and honey to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat and reduce to 1/3 cup.

Arugula Pesto
Add arugula, pistachios, garlic, Parmesan cheese and olive oil to food processor. Pulse mixture until smooth, adding more olive oil, if needed. Season the pesto with salt and pepper. Makes about 2 cups.

Preheat grill to medium high. Clean grill and brush with oil.

Drizzle chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill chicken just until cooked through, no longer pink and juices run clear, about 10 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness of chicken. Let grilled chicken rest for 5 minutes and then slice into strips. Add chicken to bowl with 3 tbsp. arugula pesto. Toss to coat.

While chicken is grilling, brush onion slices with olive oil. Add to grill and cook until grill marked on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drizzle with 2 tsp. balsamic reduction. Toss to combine.

Cut radicchio into quarters, keep core intact so quarters stay together. Brush with olive oil and grill until just grill marked on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes. Slice radicchio.

To assemble salad: Place baby spinach on a large shallow bowl or platter with rim. Sprinkle with grilled radicchio. Top greens with grilled chicken, onions, apricots, Parmesan shavings and pistachio nuts. Drizzle salad with a little more balsamic reduction. Serve.

Yield: 4 servings.