Pretty food simply tastes better and different textures make it more interesting. Just as the name says, this salad is a colorful poem and a perfect way to include all essential components into your diet.
Strawberries, spinach, red onions and avocados for the aesthetics and healthy nutrients, the crunchy toasted almonds on top and the small grainy poppy seeds in the dressing for the texture, a little sweetness from honey mixed with the bitterness of mustard and tangy flavour of orange and the addition of healthy grilled white meat makes it a versatile eating experience that will leave a lasting impression on your senses.
The idea with this salad is to just get as many different colours and nutrients into one meal as possible. You can play with the ingredients and pick your favorite fruits and vegetables and go with it. As simple as it sounds!
If you don´t like strawberries, try replacing them with mangoes. You can´t find baby spinach, get argula or any other greens that make you happy!
Same rule for meat! Grilled fish or well-marinated veal steaks are my favourite choices after chicken. Just take whatever your heart desires!
A salad is not complete without the croutons and cheese. And what if you combine both? Trust me, it´s beyond your imagination. Covering the feta with breadcrumbs and frying them in oil adds a beautiful crunch to the creamy cheese.
Oh, and let´s not forget admiring the beautiful vinaigrette. I love the fact that it can used both as dressing and marinade. Things that make cooking easy are always the best!
So, there it is. My favourite salad of all times, loaded with vibrant colours and delightful textures. Yet super easy to put together. Fresh, healthy, and so pretty. You´re going to LOVE it. Trust me!
Don´t forget to share your recreation with me on Insta by using the hashtag #chefonrhine. I love seeing them!
Rainbow Salad with grilled Chicken & fried Feta
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp poppy seeds
- 1 clove garlic minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 400 g feta cheese cut in big cubes
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1 cup breadcrumbs preferably panko
- 750 g chicken breast
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries sliced
- 1 avocado sliced
- 1 small red onion sliced
- 1/2 cup almond flakes
- Mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and set aside.
- Cut the chicken in thick slices and marinate in half of the orange poppy seed dressing for 30 minutes.
- Toast the almond flakes in a pan until golden. Set aside.
- Cut feta in big cubes and coat with flour. Then dip in the beaten egg followed by breadcrumbs and shallow fry in oil over medium heat until lightly golden brown on all sides.
- Take out on paper towel and allow to cool.
- Grill chicken over medium heat until cooked and slightly charred. See notes.
- Wash the spinach leaves and drain thoroughly. Spread in a big serving platter.
- Slice onion in half moons and soak in cold water for 5 min. Drain. Place on one side of the spinach bed.
- Cut strawberries in thick slices. Place carefully on top of the spinach.
- Peel and slice the avocado. Drizzle with some lemon juice and place carefully next to other fruits and veggies in the platter.
- Drizzle salad with the remaining dressing.
- Arrange fried feta cubes and grilled chicken.
- Finish off with the toasted almonds and serve.
- You can replace the fruits and vegetables with seasonal produce or whatever your heart desires.
- A good substitute for strawberries here is mango.
- Almond flakes can be replaced with slivered almonds.
- You can cook the chicken over grill, in the grill pan or bake in oven. Itll be equally delicious and healthy.
- Try slicing the avocados last min and don´t forget to drizzle some lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.
- If you plan to use the dough next day, allow it to rise in refrigerator instead of keeping at a warm place. The proofing process will be delayed that way and the dough wont smell.