Summer Salads Some Aren’t- Roast Chicken Salad with Yellow Pepper & Lemon Slices

It’s true that salads can be hard to define. A pile of lettuce simply dressed is certainly a salad. But it’s not a really a meal.

Salads can be meals. Salads can be the main course. Especially in summer.

But you knew that.

So what actually defines a salad? It can certainly be the main course, a side dish, an elegant first course, or a fresh way to end a meal. Which sort of confuses the subject. So I simplify the definition and say that salads are creatively composed of fresh seasonal ingredients. I like a salad to have bright colors, plenty of crunch and if it’s to be the main course, a bit of lean protein.

Roast Chicken Salad with Yellow Pepper

Take this Roast Chicken Salad with Yellow Pepper & Lemon Slices. It certainly fits all my criteria. Because a salad like this doesn’t just make the meal, it makes the meal memorable.

This salad is light and easy enough for a summer evening. It comes together in just a matter of moments, especially if you choose to use leftover chicken or stop by the market on your way home and get a delicious whole roasted rotisserie chicken. I paid particular attention to the color palate and kept all the elements sunshine yellow to pay honor to the season. Sweet, crunchy yellow bell pepper sits next to whole sections of lemon slices. This is a great opportunity to practice your “supreme” skills. The whole pithless lemon sections are so juicy the only dressing this salad needs is a drizzle of the best olive oil you have in the house. They certainly add that unexpected “wow” factor.

chciken salad with bell pepper and lemon slicesThere is an herbal element in this salad too. And that’s marjoram. Not enough people appreciate marjoram. It’s a terrific summer herb, because it has a bright almost citrusy element to it. It’s great in anything you might choose to flavor with oregano, but it’s lighter and a bit more floral. Perfect in this salad.

All this talk of salad has brought me to one conclusion. I need to  dedicate this whole week to the summer salad. Come back everyday this week as I feature all the colorful, creative goodness that summer brings to the plate. Because even if you decide some are salads and some aren’t I think you’ll agree that summer is the season for fresh, colorful crunch!

Roast Chicken Salad with Yellow Pepper & Lemon Slices

serves 4 CLICK here for a printable recipe

  • 2 lemons
  • 2 c skinless roast chicken, shredded
  • 2 yellow bell pepper, cut into 3/4‑inch pieces
  • 7 oz parmigiano-reggiano, cut into 1/8‑inch-thick shards
  • 3 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 T fresh marjoram leaves
  • salt & pepper, as needed

Using a sharp paring knife, trim off top and bottom of lemons. Stand fruit on end and carefully cut the peel and white pith from flesh, following curve of fruit from top to bottom. Trim away any remaining pith. Cut each section away from membranes, cutting as close to membranes as you can. If they are very large cut the fruit pieces in half crosswise and place them  in a large bowl.

To the bowl, add shredded chicken, bell peppers and cheese. Add oil, marjoram leaves and 1 teaspoon salt; toss to combine. Season to taste with black pepper and more salt if desired.

From La Cucina Italiana


Greg Henry

Sippity Sup

Roast Chicken Salad with Yellow Pepper