Mediterranean Chicken Salad

Summer is about grilling and salads. Sometimes some magic happens and it can be about both of those things in one fantastic dish. Enter this inspired Mediterranean Chicken Salad. Packed with all manner of summer produce, a healthy dose of briny olives and tangy lemon juice and zest, and crowned with grilled chicken and haloumi - which we covered last time - it is a fitting tribute to what may be the tastiest month of them all.

Whether you are grilling inside with a grill plate or out on the grill in the yard, set yourself up for success by starting with the chicken that's been marinating and then give the cheese a quick cook and let it season itself with any of the marinade that lingers on the grill. You can skip the cheese, but it adds a fantastic taste and texture element and really gives you a stellar main dish to share.

Because the dressing/marinade in this dish is so stunning, I often serve it with torn baguette or warm pita. If you happen to have some hummus on hand, that would also be lovely. And don't forget the glasses or chilled white wine or lemonade. Cheers to summer eating!

Mediterranean Chicken Salad

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 tbsp Italian herbs
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 cucumber, halved and sliced
  • 10 oz. grape tomatoes, halved
  • ⅓ cup pitted Kalamata olives or black olives, halved
  • 6 oz. haloumi

Add the first five ingredients (olive oil through kosher salt & ground pepper) to a jar, put the lid on and shake vigorously to combine.

Place the chicken in a shallow dish and pour in half of the dressing. Turn to coat the chicken and allow it to marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Keep the remaining half to use over the salad.

Meanwhile, combine the romaine lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, and olives in a large serving bowl; set aside.

Preheat a grill pan or your outside grill on medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165F. Once the chicken is done, chop it into bite-sized pieces. Place the haloumi on the hot grill pan or grill and cook until the outside is browned. Cut the warm cheese into cubes.

Top the salad with the cooked chicken and cheese; drizzle with the remaining dressing. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour