A light and refreshing salad of arugula, grilled chicken and zucchini with a tangy Meyer Lemon dressing.  This is perfect for the first warm spring evening or even a summer night al fresco.

We have been craving a hearty salad for a couple weeks now.  We keep talking about ones we love but have not gotten around to making any.  I got the idea for this salad from a recipe in the April issue of Food & Wine magazine.  I thought the combination of ingredients would make a nice spring or summertime salad.  As always, I did change the recipe around to fit our tastes.  The recipe calls for using raw zucchini but I thought it would be easier to eat if they were also grilled and I used extra Meyer Lemon juice, which gave it an extra tangy but still slightly sweet taste – very refreshing.

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Recipe: Grilled Chicken and Zucchini Salad

* serves 2

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove,  minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Finely grated zest of 1 Meyer lemons, plus juice of 2 Meyer lemons

Sea Salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 medium zucchini, cut into 3-by-1/2-inch sticks

1 large shallot, minced

1 chicken breast, halved, skinless and boneless

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

2 cups lightly packed baby arugula leaves

In a large nonreactive bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the garlic, cumin, lemon zest, juice from one lemon, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Add the zucchini and toss to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

In a large, shallow glass or ceramic dish, combine the minced shallot with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the remaining lemon juice. Add the chicken breast halves, turning to coat thoroughly with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, turning a few times.

In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, tossing a few times, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

In a large grill skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the zucchini in a single layer and grill until lightly browned but still slightly crisp.  Remove from the pan and put back into the remaining zucchini marinade.

Remove the chicken breast halves from the marinade, and discard the marinade.  Add the chicken to the grill skillet and cook over moderately high heat, turning a few times, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 15 – 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a large, shallow serving bowl and let cool slightly.  Before serving, thinly slice.

Add the marinated zucchini, toasted pine nuts, and arugula together and toss lightly. Lay the greens on a serving plate and top with the grilled chicken.  Serve.  Eat.

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