**This salad is fabulous and it takes me all of 20 minutes to make! The combination of flavors (especially the lemon and mint) and textures (the tender chicken and the crunchy pecans) will make your mouth tingle. It’s pretty too. It goes perfectly with sliced fresh tomatoes on the side. Zucchini and mint are now available at the Orange County HomeGrown Farmers Market. All of the ingredients can be found at Lost River Market & Deli, including locally raised chicken.
¼ cup plus 1 Tablespoon olive oil (divided)
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 ¼ pounds zucchini, thinly sliced
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts (pound a bit so that breasts are uniform in size for even cooking)
1 large bunch fresh baby spinach leaves, rinsed well and spun dry
½ red onion, sliced very thinly
¾ cup pecans, toasted and chopped
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup fresh mint, chopped
In a large bowl, whisk together ¼ cup olive oil, the lemon juice and salt and pepper. Add the zucchini slices and toss to coat. Allow the zucchini to marinate while you’re cooking the chicken.
In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 7 minutes per side. Add about ¼ cup water to skillet after both sides are browned. Remove from skillet, and slice thinly, about ½ inch thick.
Add the chicken with juices from skillet and remaining ingredients to the zucchini mixture and toss well.