The end of August is generally hot and busy. The garden is gifting us with produce we need to use, there are efforts to prepare for return to school and shifting of schedules, and everyone seems constantly starved but no one wants to cook. This is when main course salads get me and my family through a week.
In an effort to make sure everyone is actually well fed, I tend to plan some grilling most weeks that give us leftovers to use on other days. This salad relies in leftover grilled chicken, but you could use rotisserie chicken or any leftover chicken you have around. You could cook, but we're trying to keep things easy. Save your minimal effort for making air fryer croutons and a mason jar dressing. Can you use stuff you picked up from the grocery store? Sure, but if you have the time and energy (we're talking minutes for both items), I highly recommend giving them a whirl. You'll likely never grab a bag of croutons at the grocery store again!
If you want anything with this (I usually don't), keep it super simple. Some sliced fruit and a tall glass of lemonade or iced tea ought to do it. Enjoy and keep cool.
- 2 cups bread cubes - I cubed about a third of a baguette
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp. Penzeys Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle or similar seasoning blend
- 2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced (leftover grilled or sautéed chicken or rotisserie chicken all work wonderfully)
- 1 romaine heart, chopped
- 2 hardboiled eggs, quartered
- 1 small cucumber, sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
- ¼ cup shaved parmesan
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce or anchovy paste
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the air fryer to 400°F for 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes in olive oil and spices until well coated.
Transfer the seasoned bread cubes to air fryer, and cook at 400°F for 3-6 minutes. Check the cubes at 3 minutes, and continue cooking until the bread is crisp and golden brown. Remove from the air fryer and set aside.
Prepare the remaining salad ingredients (chicken through shaved parmesan) and layer in a large serving bowl. Top with the croutons.
In a resealable jar, combine the remaining ingredients (yogurt through salt and pepper). Seal the jar and shake vigorously to combine. Drizzle the dressing generously over the salad as it is being served.
- Yields: 4-6 servings
- Preparation Time: 30 minutes