When strawberries are in season is when they are at their best. Here in Florida, there are strawberry festivals from December through March. For 15 years, we called North Carolina home, and berry time was in May. Whenever you can get fresh, local berries, it the best time to make this fabulously refreshing main dish salad.

 

This grilled chicken salad with strawberries and kiwi is not only quick and easy to make, it is a summertime favorite. The ingredients can be prepared ahead of time, refrigerated, and put together when you’re ready to serve it. It includes strawberries and kiwi fruit, and is topped with toasted almonds. Of course, if nut allergies are a concern, the almonds can be left out, and the salad will be just as good, just not as crunchy. This salad is a full meal, not an appetizer. The majority of the cooking time is cleaning and cooking the chicken. We often grill extra chicken breasts, then freeze them until we need them. That greatly reduces the prep time for dishes such as this one. The amounts of strawberries and lettuce will depend on how hungry you are, and the number of people you need to feed.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 small or one large boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 sliced kiwi (one per person)
  • sliced strawberries
  • sliced mushrooms, if desired
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • brown sugar
  • poppyseed dressing
  • lettuce
Toasting the Almonds and Brown Sugar.
 

Instructions

  1. Grill or bake the chicken using no seasoning, then cut it into bite-sized pieces and set aside or refrigerate.
  2. Wash your lettuce, and set it aside to drain. Use whatever type lettuce you prefer.
  3. Wash, then peel* and cut the kiwi into small bite-sized pieces; and set aside or refrigerate.
  4. Wash the strawberries, then cut into bite-sized pieces; and set aside or refrigerate.
  5. In a small non-stick omelet pan or skillet, brown the almonds.
  6. When the almonds are a golden brown, add the brown sugar.
  7. As the brown sugar melts, stir constantly until all the almonds are coated.
  8. Put the coated almonds onto a plate to cool. They will be stuck together, but will readily separate when you pick them up after cooling.
  9. If you need to speed up the process, put the almonds in the fridge for a few minutes.
  10. Layer the salad in this order: lettuce first, then the fruit, then the chicken, followed by the almonds.
  11. Add the dressing only when ready to eat the salad. Otherwise, the dressing will dissolve the sugar coating on the almonds.
Sliced Kiwi Ready to Use

* Why wash fruit you’re planning to peel?  Because if you handle unwashed fruit, any bacteria or pesticides will transfer from your hands onto the peeled fruit.