ITALIAN CHICKEN SALAD WITH CROUTONS, MOZZARELLA, OLIVES AND ROASTED RED PEPPERS, (for four)
For the croutons:
4 cups (1/2 inch) cubes Italian bread (from a ½ pound crusty round loaf)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
For the vinaigrette:
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the salad:
2 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken (1/2 pound, from a rotisserie chicken)
1 cup bocconcini (small fresh mozzarella balls, 6 ounces)
2 hearts of romaine (3/4 pound total), torn into bite-size pieces
one 8 ounce jar roasted red peppers, rinsed, drained and cut lengthwise into ¼ inch wide strips
1 cup assorted marinated brine-cured olives (5 ounces)
- Make the croutons. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400*. Toss bread cubes with oil and salt in a large shallow baking pan and spread in 1 layer. Bake, turning over once, until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack.
- Make the vinaigrette and begin preparing the salad while the croutons bake. Whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients except oil in a small bowl until combined. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified.
- Toss chicken and bocconcini together with ¼ cup vinaigrette in a bowl and let stand 10 minutes to allow flavors to develop.
- Make salad. Toss together romaine, red peppers, olives, chicken and bocconcini mixture, croutons and remaining vinaigrette in a large bowl until combined.
from Gourmet Magazine, April, 2006