Tasting the Mediterranean

Sometimes, it's too easy to turn to the ubiquitous stir-fry when you have a bunch of delicious, fresh vegetables on hand. But that can actually get a little old week after week. What's a home chef to do? Well, how about taking some of the lessons learned from stir-frying and applying them to a dish that's steeped in Mediterranean flavors:

This simple, fairly quick dish takes advantage of tomatoes, asparagus, green onions, and garlic. However, that's because that's what I had on hand. You can tweak the selection of vegetables a fair bit without too much issue. Just make sure you choose combinations that give you a nice blend of flavors and textures and you'll be good to go. Later in summer, summer squash might be more available than, say, asparagus and it would work quite nicely in this dish, too.

By serving the chicken mixture over rice and then drizzling it with the yogurt sauce, you can sandwich it between more flavors on the region. I like serving it atop Lemon-Cumin rice, which plays nicely with both the chicken and the tangy yogurt sauce. You could also fold the chicken mixture into pita bread and use the sauce as a sandwich dressing. Either way, it's a lovely way to enjoy some of the flavors of the Mediterranean!

Tomato-Asparagus Chicken with Green Yogurt Sauce

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. asparagus spears, ends trimmed and sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped (1 T. reserved for sauce -- see below)
  • 1 c. plain yogurt
  • 1 T. green goddess seasoning/dressing mix
  • 1 T. chopped green onion
  • 1 T. chopped tomato (leftover from the other tomatoes)
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Rice, for serving (I like to serve it with this)

Place the chicken breasts between two large sheets of plastic wrap; pound them out as thinly as you can. Slice the chicken into thin strips.

Bring the olive oil to a medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and place it in the pan. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep it warm. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté it until fragrant.

Add the asparagus and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan, as well as the chopped tomato (reserve 1 tablespoon of the chopped tomato for the sauce). Simmer for 2-3 minutes until heated through. Keep warm.

While the chicken simmers, prepare the dipping sauce. In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, green goddess seasoning, tomato, and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Serve the chicken over rice with the dipping sauce.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

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