Monday, April 18, 2016

Grilled Chicken BLT Salad with a Bacon Balsamic Vinaigrette and Blue Cheese

We're back to grilling season here in the Northeast! Jon will grill year-round, but once the warm weather hits it makes grilling so much more enjoyable. He can actually stay outside and enjoy a beer while grilling instead of having to run back in the house.

The grilling bug has officially hit so last week when I asked Jon what he wanted for dinner I should have known to expect "something on the grill" as his answer. Fine with me - keep the mess outside! Then he asked for grilled chicken and salads and I immediately thought about the gourmet medley of tomatoes I just bought that morning. And what goes better with greens and tomatoes than bacon? I decided to make a BLT salad with a warm bacon dressing.

I kept the chicken simple with just some garlic, onion, salt and pepper and a quick zest of lemon rind before going on the grill. I also kept the salad simple - I chose spinach as my greens (romaine for Jon), some grilled red onion, fresh multi-colored tomatoes, cucumbers and green onions. There was a reason for keeping everything simple - this dressing. It is seriously over the top good - I mean, it's a dressing pretty much made from bacon and its grease, how couldn't it be? Then you get the tang of balsamic and the bite of the blue cheese all poured over the crisp, cold salad. Heaven!

Grilled Chicken BLT Salad with a Bacon Balsamic Vinaigrette and Blue Cheese
Original recipe by Mary Ellen of Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations
Makes 3 salads

The Chicken

  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest from 1/2 of a lemon
  • Squirt of lemon juice
Mix all of the ingredients and pour over the chicken for 2 hours. Grill until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving. 

The Salads
  • 1/2 of a red onion cut into rings
  • Greens of your choice; we used Romaine lettuce and spinach. 
  • Tomatoes, chopped; I used a medley of yellow, campari, grape and kumatos (brown tomatoes)
  • Green onions, chopped
  • Cucumber, chopped
  • Crumbled blue cheese
Divide ingredients among bowls. Top with the sliced chicken and dressing and blue cheese. 

The Dressing

Source: Guy Fieri

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 2 tbsp chopped red onion
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a saute pan over high heat. 
  • Add the onions and bacon and cook until the bacon is crispy, about 6 minutes. 
  • To the same pan add the balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and stir to combine. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste. 

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  1. I'm loving every single ingredient in this salad! I see a lot of grilled chicken with balsamic vinaigrette in my future - yum!

  2. This looks absolutely delicious. A lovely salad, perfect for spring. That chicken looks so so juicy.

    I'm ABSOLUTELY trying the dressing. #youhadmeatbacon #andthenaddedbluecheese

  3. I'm glad to hear grilling has arrived in the Northeast! Here in waaaay south Texas, I'm afraid ours will go away come June or July... We've not been here through the summer yet, but the heat and humidity are not friendly! I love this recipe, and every single ingredient. Delicious!

  4. Yum! This salad is making my mouth water!

  5. This salad looks delicious! I love balsamic dressing, but balsamic dressing with bacon? AMAZING!! Love it! Totally have to try this!

  6. BLT + Chicken + Blue Cheese = YES! This sounds and looks amazing - it's all of my favorite things.

  7. This is truly delicious looking!