Tastes Like Summer: Grilled Chicken and Pasta Salad With Fresh Strawberries, Basil and Gouda Cheese
Wow! What a crazy week this has been! I feel like I have not been able to keep up. Which means my food choices have not been the greatest this week.
Today, I finally had a chance to get out and do some real grocery shopping. I have three stores that I tend to do my shopping at. Costco for the bulk stuff, Trader Joe’s for the unique stuff and wine and Fred Meyer (Kroger’s) for the staples.
My last stop for the day was at Trader Joe’s where they were doing some wine tasting. They had this wonderful Grenache Rose’ wine from the Rouge Valley in Oregon. A dry French style Rose’ that was deliciously fruity and bursting with flavors of strawberry, citrus and light floral notes.
I grabbed a couple of bottles ( A steal at $7.99 a bottle) and decided that this would be my inspiration for tonight’s meal.
Since it was a beautiful warm sunny day, a nice light salad would be the perfect fix. I had already purchased a container of fresh strawberries at Costco, I just needed to roam the aisles for further inspiration.
On one of the end caps they had a display with this gorgeous, colorful pasta. Pasta salad it is! Perfetto!
I picked up a few other ingredients that I thought would go nicely in my salad. Cheese, of course, fresh basil and some chicken breast.
Back at home, I pour a glass of wine and create. This salad ended up being the perfect compliment to the Rose’ that I had bought. Make it a day ahead for the perfect weeknight summer meal or pack it up for your next picnic outing.
For the Grilled Chicken:
- 1/2 cup Grenache rose’ wine
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh shallot
- 1 clove minced fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon strawberry preserves
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon grain mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
Place chicken breasts in a gallon sized ziploc bag. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Seal bag and message around until marinade coats all of the chicken. marinate for at least 1 hour. Remove chicken from marinade and grill over a medium flame until chicken reaches internal temperature of 165 degrees when thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the chicken. Remove from heat and let chicken rest 10-15 minutes before serving. this allows juices to redistribute throughout the chicken. Once chicken has rested slice and serve with pasta salad.
For the Pasta Salad:
- 1 pound multi-colored spiral pasta
- 1/2 cup sliced shallots
- 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 cup torn fresh basil, washed and patted dry
- 1/3 pound aged Gouda cheese, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, quartered into slivers
- 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon grain mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente’. Drain cooked pasta and cool with cold running water. Toss with a little olive oil to prevent from sticking. In a large bowl combine cooled pasta, shallots, strawberries, basil, cheese and olives. In another bowl whisk together vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over pasta salad and toss to coat. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Place some of the pasta salad into individual bowls top with some sliced grilled chicken and fresh basil sprig.