Weeknight Shorts: Garden Glory

If you've ever had appetizers at a nice Italian restaurant, you've probably enjoyed bruschetta. It's basically a lightly seasoned tomato relish served over crusty bread. It might not sound like much, but when assembled at the peak of tomato season I can make an entire meal out of it. This is especially true when I tweak the concept a little and use sautéed chicken instead of the bread:

This dish relies on having really wonderful tomatoes and fresh basil. The result will be an aromatic, juicy dish that is perfect for potlucks, picnics, or just a quick al fresco dinner before soccer practice or other early fall activities. I'm lucky enough to be able to grab those things from my garden, but if you need to look further, consider your local farmers' market. You'll be getting super fresh ingredients and supporting local farmers. Win-win!

You can add something as simple as bread and a salad to this dish to make a meal or get a little fussier. And really, you could even just pour a glass of wine and enjoy the fact that you got dinner on the table in less than half an hour and everyone is singing your praises!

Chicken Bruschetta

  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1-2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 8-12 large basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1-2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Combine the first 3 ingredients and rub the seasoning mix into the chicken breasts, making sure to coat the meat evenly. In a nonstick skillet (add a little cooking spray or oil to the pan if desired) over medium-high heat, sauté the chicken breasts for 5-7 minutes per side or until the chicken is cooked through and has a golden crust.

Combine the remaining ingredients (tomatoes through salt and pepper, to taste) in a small bowl. To serve, spoon a generous helping of the tomato relish over the warm chicken and enjoy.

  • Yields: 2-3 main dish servings
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes