This salad has a base of thinly sliced collard greens tossed with a light, balsamic lemon vinaigrette. The greens marinate in the dressing, which softens them up a little bit and takes away some of their raw bite. I then topped them with an absolutely divine spicy peach and Vidalia onion glazed chicken.
Dried cherries offer a little bit of tarty-sweetness and some almonds add crunch. The final touch is a sprinkle of thinly sliced basil, because basil pulls it all together. You are going to love the flavor melody going on in this salad!
For the Chicken:
- 2 chicken breasts
- kosher salt
- black pepper
For the Glaze:
- ¼ cup champagne vinegar
- 1/3 cup peach preserves
- 1 ½ teaspoons roasted red chili paste
- 1 peach, chopped
- ½ small Vidalia onion, thinly sliced vertically
For the Salad:
- ½ cup farro, uncooked
- 1 teaspoon butter
- ¾ cup water
- 1 bunch of Collard Greens (approximately 8–10 leaves)
- 1/3 cup dried Montmorency cherries
- 2 tablespoons raw almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1 peach, chopped
- Goat’s cheese
- Thinly sliced fresh basil
For the Dressing:
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 pinches kosher salt
- Juice from 1 lemon
- Preheat your oven to 400°
Cook the Farro:
- Combine water, farro, butter and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Stir to combine.
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, until all the water has been absorbed and the grain is plump and chewy, approximately 30 minutes.
For the Salad Base:
- I prepare the collard green salad base while I am waiting for the farro water to boil so that it has time to marinate in the dressing and tone down some of its natural, raw bite.
- Wash your collard greens and remove the center stalk in each. Pile them all up in a neat little pile then roll them up lengthwise all together. Slice the roll like you would a Jelly Roll dessert, but as thinly as possible. Place all the strips into a large mixing bowl, tossing to free the individual strips.
- In a bowl or a salad dressing container, mix together the vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper. Shake or whisk to combine. You are using enough mustard and not too much oil, so this should emulsify nicely. Pour approximately 2 tablespoons of dressing over the collard greens along with the juice from 1 lemon. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with cherries and almonds, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Vidalia Onion and Peach Glazed Chicken”
- Rinse and pat chicken breasts dry. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper on each side. I am conservative with my salt, but you can salt as you wish.
- Whisk together champagne vinegar, peach preserves, chili paste, a pinch of salt and some freshly cracked pepper. Set aside.
- Heat a cast iron skillet or stainless steel pan over medium heat until searing hot. Sear the chicken for 2 minutes on each side then remove to a plate, tent loosely with foil.
- Add the onions and peaches to the pan and sauté until the onions begin to release their juices, stirring frequently to keep them from burning. Pour the peach preserve mixture into the pan and stir almost continuously until the onions are soft.
- Return the chicken to the pan and cover with the peach mixture. You want to make sure that you mound up that sauce on top of the chicken and coat every last inch. I insert an individual thermometer into my breasts at this point to take out the guess work.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 8-15 minutes until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 165°. This cook time will vary greatly depending on the size of your chicken breast and if you still have the tenderloin attached. Mine were small with the tenderloin and they took 8 minutes.
- Remove chicken from the pan and tent loosely with foil. Let rest 10 minutes. I know you are hungry, but resist. It’ll be worth it.
- While your chicken rests, reduce the sauce over medium heat if you wish and assemble the rest of your salads.
Some of the measurements here are approximate, for example, the greens, cherries, almonds and how much dressing to put on the greens. Add to your taste: it’s a salad not a soufflé!