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Chicken and Roasted Tomato Salad

Sun-dried tomatoes may be substituted for the roasted tomatoes in order to save time. Dry-packed tomatoes should be soaked in hot water for about 20 minutes, then drained and chopped. Oil-packed tomatoes need only be removed from the oil and chopped. Use 1 cup dry-packed tomatoes or 1 cup drained oil-packed tomatoes in place of the roasted ones.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb. plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 6 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt, to taste, plus 1/4 tsp.
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded lightly to an even thickness
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • 6 oz. arugula
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved

Directions:

Roast the tomatoes
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Oil a large rimmed baking sheet.

Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Brush with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil, sprinkle with the thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes until shriveled on top but still juicy underneath, about 50 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet. (The tomatoes can be roasted ahead of time; cover with plastic wrap and set aside for up to 4 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.) Cut the tomatoes in half again before using.

Cook the chicken
Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the canola oil. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until golden brown and firm, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes.

Assemble the salad
Place the arugula in a large bowl, drizzle with the remaining 4 Tbs. olive oil and toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle with the vinegar, the 1/4 tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper and toss again. Arrange the arugula on plates. Cut the chicken on the diagonal into slices and place on the arugula. Garnish with the roasted tomatoes, top with the cheese and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Salad, by Brigit L. Binns (Oxmoor House, 2007).