Thursday, May 23, 2013

Celebrating Local Strawberry Season with a Strawberry Salad with Grilled Chicken, Peas, Cucumbers and Gorgonzola

Local strawberries are in season at our markets and what better way to celebrate strawberry season than to make a salad.

But this is not just any salad. This salad is filled with even more spring and summer flavors – baby English peas, and cucumber and snow peas to add some crunch. Top with crumbled rich and delicious gorgonzola and dressed with a fresh basil vinaigrette, you have spring & summer rolled into one on a plate.

I added grilled chicken to make this a main course, but crumbled smoked bacon as the original recipe called for, would also be delicious.

Strawberry Salad with Grilled Chicken and Peas
Adapted from Southern Living – serves 6

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ cups trimmed fresh snow peas or sugar snap peas (about 5 oz)
¾ cup frozen baby English peas
1 package baby arugula (4 oz)
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup seeded and chopped English cucumber
4 ounces gorgonzola or blue cheese, crumbled
Basil vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Preheat the grill for high heat. Lightly oil the grill grates. Season chicken with salt & freshly ground black pepper and cook 8 minutes approximately on each side, or until juices run clear. Remove from heat and allow to cool. When ready to serve the salad, cut chicken in small chunks.

Arrange snow peas in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam 1 to 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Plunge peas into ice water to stop the cooking process; drain. Cut peas in half horizontally.

Place frozen baby English peas in a colander and pour boiling water over the peas to blanch. When peas turn bright green, plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain when ready to assemble salad.

Toss together arugula and next 4 ingredients, add drained snow peas and drained English peas, and the chunks of chicken. Toss again with the sweet basil vinaigrette. Serve on a large platter or individual plates.

Printable recipe including sweet basil vinaigrette

Sweet Basil Vinaigrette
From Southern Living – serves 6

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 shallots, chopped
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup canola oil, or half canola and half extra-virgin olive oil

Process first 8 ingredients in a blender until smooth. With blender running, add canola oil in a slow, steady stream, processing until smooth.

This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farms, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes, Seasonal Sunday at the Tablescaper, and On the Menu Monday at Stone Gable.

Have a great weekend everyone.
If you’re in the States, Happy Memorial Day weekend.


  1. Love sweet dressings..especially on Strawberry salads..Nothing prettier along with figs to add to a salad I find..Yo're ahead of me Sam..And this looks very keeperish to me:)

  2. This salad is just perfect! I love everything about it.



  3. Once again, you really know your way with a salad. Looks delicious.

  4. Strawberry season will be short this year but I am enjoying them as long as I can. Looks like a great salad.

  5. We are at least a month away from strawberry season but what a perfect way to serve them when the time is "ripe"!!


  6. The perfect spring salad Sam! I drove by a local strawberry vendor today without stopping, because I was in a hurry. Now I wish I would have stopped!

  7. Sam, your cooking is always so elegant and perfectly flavored - this is no exception :)
    Mary x

  8. This really looks wonderful. I think we'll have to have this over the long weekend.

  9. A perfect spring salad, Sam. I love everything about it.

  10. Hooray for local strawberry season! That is a beautiful salad Sam, I'd like it with the bacon too! Wishing you a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend:@)

  11. What a wonderful combination of flavors! I love it when the strawberries are ripe...they just lend themselves to special salads...I think I would like the chicken and the bacon! :-)

  12. Sam, I love strawberry salads and this one sounds absolutely delicious! No fresh berries here quite yet - but soon.

  13. Looks delicious. We are going to the farmer's market in the morning, and strawberries are at the top of my list.

  14. Fabulous, Sam! We are just a few weeks away from the strawberry "crop" at the farm, but I can't wait to get picking and to make this gorgeous sweet and savory main course salad!

  15. You always make the most delicious, creative salads, Sam. Local strawberries will appear in our farmers' market TODAY!!! and I can't think of a better way to enjoy them this holiday weekend. That lovely vinaigrette will bring out their sweetness.

  16. Sam, not only beautiful but I can taste it! We just picked the first of our strawberries_no cukes yet_ and there is yet some arugula. Thanks as always.

  17. This is my kind of salad, I love everything about it! It does make me sad that strawberry season is so fleeting.

  18. Love the colours in this salad - yum!

  19. Gosh this ticks all taste buttons and it's pretty.

  20. Local wonderful. Wish I had one of these salads tonight.

  21. I could skip the cucs, but otherwise, total yumm!

    Thank you for being a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  22. Another delicious salad using fresh fruit Sam

  23. Hi Sam,
    What a tasty and beautiful salad, we will just love it.

    Wishing you a peaceful Memorial Day Weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

  24. This is such a lovely way to use strawberries when they are in season, Sam. Your salad looksand sounds delicious. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  25. I haven't done a lot of strawberries in salads but Dave made us a kale salad with strawberries that he bought at our farmers market this weekend and it was very good. So I bet this salad would be exceptionally good.

  26. looks like we are both celebrating strawberry season! Don't you just love it! Love your salad with the berries! Looks refreshing and delicious

  27. Thanks for the recipe!!

    This looks easy and yummy!!!

    Have a blessed and wonderful day!!

  28. It looks delicious and I love that vinaigrette.

  29. Strawberries add such a wonderful taste dimension in salads and I'll have to make this when I return from vacation! The vinaigrette sounds delicious with the addition of basil too Sam! Thanks for preparing it and sharing!


  30. The strawberries with gorgonzola sound tasty! This whole thing looks so refreshing, Sam!



  31. What a delicious combination of flavors...I'm looking forward to the arrival of really sweet strawberries here in New England.

  32. Just wanted you to know that your recipe is being featured in a strawberry roundup today on Simple Living and Eating.

  33. This sounds great!!! I'll be adding it to my Menu Plans!!!


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