All good things must come to an end, and my love affair with this salad is no exception. After 2 ½ happy months my love started to wane and for a few days I was worried that I would never love a new salad as much again. But don’t despair! Enter this Grilled Onion Roasted Potato Strawberry Spinach Salad with a Balsamic Lemon Thyme Reduction drizzle to pull it all together!
She’s magical! There is no other word. Except maybe stupendous! But that doesn’t even do it justice. The deliciousness and flavor complexities of this salad totally justify the 86 character title.
Like my other favorite salads this one took shape over time. I originally made it with nectarines and I loved that flavor combination until I ran out of ripe nectarines. I then had a decision to make: do I abstain from my new favorite salad while waiting for my nectarines to ripen or do I try something else?
Try something else. Strawberries. So amazing!
Each component of this salad adds a little something to the dish: a little sweetness from the strawberries balances the earthy rosemary and thyme on the chicken and potatoes; the warm chicken, potatoes and onions make this salad feel hearty enough for dinner; the creamy, cool goats cheese add that little indulgence factor; and the Balsamic Lemon Thyme Reduction pulls all the flavors together and elevates the whole salad to a gourmet level!
Oh! Let’s talk about that warm Balsamic Lemon Thyme Reduction drizzle! As it was reducing, I had to keep tasting it just to make sure it really was as heavenly as I remembered!
It is! A sweet balsamic glaze with a hint of fresh thyme and little zing from the lemon! I just cannot even tell you how magical it is. It really sets off all the other flavors of the salad and makes the tastebuds sing!
I know, I know. That’s the same Foolproof Rosemary Chicken as here and here and here. Yup and here. You must understand I absolutely love this chicken! And it’s easy. And it’s consistently juicy. Did I mention it’s easy?
We’ve got some familiar faces in this salad like the aforementioned chicken and roasted rosemary potatoes. But it’s about the combination and the marriage of flavors that sets this salad apart from everyone else.
I used an easy broiler technique to grill the onions in my grill pan while the chicken was resting. This will…Change. Your. Life! I also love how the timing just works out.
It’s all about the timing. I’m a little OCD and I like everything timed in my kitchen so that each component is ready at the exact same time. Thanksgiving…you don’t even want to know. I had a timetable set up in advance. It was all orchestrated to the minute by dish. It started 3 days in advance. I know. I have a problem.
Do not be scared by the length of the instructions in this salad! I want to give you easy to follow, step-by-step instructions so that your salad comes together as quickly and as seamlessly as mine! This is one of those recipes that you absolutely must read all the way through prior to starting if you want it to be as simple as possible!
This Grilled Onion Roasted Potato Strawberry Spinach Salad with a Balsamic Lemon Thyme Reduction drizzle: a little sweetness from the strawberries balances the hearty rosemary and thyme on the chicken and potatoes; the warm chicken, potatoes and onions make this salad feel hearty enough for dinner; the creamy, cool goats cheese add that little indulgence factor; and the reduction pulls all the flavors together and elevates the whole salad to a gourmet level!
For the Salad:
Spinach, as much as you want, chopped
1 dry pint strawberries, washed, dried, hulled and sliced
1 avocado, chopped
Roasted Rosemary-Thyme Potatoes
Rosemary Grilled Chicken (two breasts)
Grilled Red Onions
For the Roasted Rosemary-Thyme Potatoes:
1 ½ lbs small to medium red skin potatoes, washed, dried and cut into small pieces
1 ½ tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 tablespoons oil (approximate)
½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper, more to taste
2 large pinches kosher salt, more or less to taste
1 medium red onion, peeled and sliced crosswise into rings a little less than ¼ inch thick.
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400° and place a large, rimmed baking dish on the middle rack to preheat. [Yes, this is the secret to crispy baked potatoes!]
While your oven preheats, cut up your potatoes into small pieces (~ ½ inch cubes) and place in a medium mixing bowl. Chop the rosemary for the potatoes and the chicken. Add approximately 1.5 tablespoons of rosemary, two large three-finger pinches of kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper to your potatoes. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes and toss to coat potatoes evenly. The potatoes should have a nice sheen but they should not be drenched. There should be no excess oil in the bottom of the bowl. [To be completely honest, I don’t measure my olive oil. I drizzle some on, sprinkle some salt and pepper and all the herbs and then mix and check to see if each piece has a nice sheen, a few visible granules of salt and some cracked pepper. If they are missing any of those elements, I add more. Easy peasy.]
By this time your oven should be preheated. If not, proceed to assembling the balsamic reduction and preparing your chicken for the grill. If it is preheated, then spread the potatoes out in an even layer on the hot pan. Bake until they are a golden brown and are break apart when pierced with a fork, stirring every 8-10 minutes. Mine take about 30 minutes but this will greatly depend on how large your potatoes are.
While the potatoes bake, start your balsamic reduction.
Balsamic Lemon Thyme Reduction:
Add all ingredients except thyme in a small sauce pan. Whisk until all the honey has dissolved. Add the thyme sprigs and place over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally, and reduce until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon but still thin enough to run off the edges. It will be a little bit more than ½ cup. Once it has reduced, remove it from the heat and take out the thyme sprigs. By my timing this is just a little bit before the onions are done.
After your Reduction has gone on the stove, prepare your chicken, chop your strawberries, dice your avocado and slice your onions.
Making the chicken:
While your balsamic reduction is reducing and your potatoes have about 10 minutes left, start cooking your chicken. Follow the instructions here
Grilling the onions:
While your chicken is resting switch your oven to broil and place the oven rack as close to the broiler as possible without your pan actually touching the coils.
Place onion slices in a single layer on your hot grill pan that you just used for your chicken, brush the tops with olive oil reserved from brushing your pan for the chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place under the broiler for 2 minutes.
Flip the slices over and broil another 2 minutes.
With tongs separate the slices, toss, and continue broiling until crisp-tender or more done if you desire, about 4 minutes more, checking at 1-minute intervals.
Assemble your Salads:
There is inevitably downtime while waiting on one of the cooked components to be ready, so during that time, I chop my spinach, dice my strawberries, cut up my avocado, stir my reduction, and eat some goat’s cheese. Oops! I meant get my cheese ready to top the salads.
When the onions come out of the oven, top your spinach with some roasted potatoes, grilled onions, strawberries, avocado, grilled chicken and goat cheese. Drizzle with the warm reduction (also yummy at room temperature) and serve!
I find this salad so filling that I usually serve it with only 1/2 chicken breast, which means more left overs tomorrow with half the work!
I have also made this same salad with grilled rib-eye steaks if you are in the mood for red meat!
All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Thanks!