This Chicken Zucchini Salad well minus the chicken is my favorite in the Garg household. I simply love the lemon and capers dressing which goes brilliantly with the grilled zucchini ribbons. And its so simple to put together, totally unbelievable. I discovered this a variant of this salad with boiled chicken and some elements here and there, but whoever thought of it was simply brilliant.
Capers are those tiny pea sized pickled wild fruits in a vinegar thin jar in the departmental stores in the shelves where you find olives and other relishes. Its an acquired taste, not everybody likes it at the first go, but if you do like it, its a brilliant add on to salads. Its a little salty and has a distinct pungent aroma to it, and a little more acidic compared to its cukes counterparts like gherkins. I have mostly seen it used in continental and italian food, will have to read up more to see its exact origins.
This Chicken Zucchini Salad is one salad i would highly recommend you to try, especially the dressing, its mind-blowing, and never bores me, its a frequent weekday lunch for me, and it gets me excited when i make this for lunch.
The ribbons of zucchini, carrot and cucumbers are not made by any fancy gadget! Infact they are made with our basic home peelers, just peel through your veggies lengthwise, and you have pretty ribbons in minutes.
Given i keep making this Chicken Zucchini Salad every now and then, i sometimes add or remove a few elements, you may pick some add ons from my favorite addons as per your liking. I sometimes dont like the cherry tomatoes, and sometimes just dont have them :), but zucchini, carrots and cukes are a must here, and the dressing, the rest you can improvise.
Ingredients for the Lemon Capers Dressing
- 2 tbsp lemon juice / apple cider vinegar
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 7-8 capers finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, grated
- 1 tbsp of onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp finely chopped dill leaves
Ingredients for the Salad
- 1 Chicken breast defrosted
- 1 green zucchini of 6-7 inches length
- 1 yellow zucchini of 6-7 inches length
- 1 cucumber
- 1 carrot
- 4-5 cherry tomatoes
- 3-4 chards of rocket leaves.
- 10-12 pine nuts to top
- Mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl, and set it aside.
- take 2 tbsp of the dressing, and rub it on the chicken to marinate it, with some more olive oil and salt and pepper, you can do it in a plate, or best would be to put it all in a ziplock, rub will, and keep it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- In the meanwhile, clean the veggies, and peel the carrots, for the rest, you can leave the peel on.
- Now use a peeler and peel through the veggies one at a time vertically to make thin ribbons out of them .
- Keep the carrots and cucumbers separately.
- Pour the dressing into the serving bowl, and just save a little, like a tbsp to pour over the zucchini ribbons, mix them with your fingers.
- Now heat a grill pan over a stovetop, line the zucchini ribbons on the pan, so that they are not touching each other, leave it for a minute or two and you will see black grill lines on top of the ribbons, this is when u use a thong, or a form to remove them from the pan.
- Set it aside and let it cool.
- Now grill the chicken, 5-6 minutes on both sides, till its just done, and remove it from the pan and let it cool.
- Once cool cut the grilled chicken into thin strips and serve with the grilled zucchini ribbons and p nuts and cherry tomatoes and torn up rocket leaves. Dress as you like and savour this awesome salad.
- If you are going to have the salad immediately, then cutting the chicken in chunks as shown in the picture is alright, but if you want to pack it for lunch, i would suggest, cutting it into thinner slices, like 2 inches long and 1/2 inch thick, so that its easier to have with a fork.
- I love cherry tomatoes here, but Garg doesn’t, so maybe you may want to omit it.
- For a vegetarian version, just the grilled zucchini with cucumber and carrot ribbons is enough, but if u like you can have grilled tofu, i have tried it once and it tastes good.
- If you are packing it for a lunchbox, pack the salad dressing and toppings separately.
- When we say, there is no rule, no mandatory ingredient, we mean it, add, remove the ingredients to find your favorite combination.
- Read the Salad Dressings Simplified article to build your own favorite salad dressing.
- I have listed my favorite salad add ons, discover your choice of add ons there.
- Read the Salad Basics Decoded to read more on salad basics if it may interest you.