The combination of fennel and watercress makes for a refreshing entree. Any protein can be used in place of the chicken, including pork tenderloin, shrimp, scallops or ahi tuna. Herbs such as thyme, basil and chives can be added to the dressing if desired. Recipe by Amanda Cushman.
2 cups baby arugula
1 bunch watercress, tough stems removed
2 bulbs fennel, ends trimmed and tough outer piece removed
Juice of one lemon
1/4 cup virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 whole boneless, skinless, chicken breast, halved, trimmed, pounded to 1/4 inch thick
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
2 teaspoons tarragon, chopped
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/3 to 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted and sliced
Transfer the arugula to a medium bowl, add the watercress and toss. Set aside in the refrigerator.
Thinly slice the fennel and transfer to a small bowl. Add the lemon juice, one tablespoon of the olive oil, salt and pepper and set aside
In a small bowl combine the chicken with the remaining three tablespoons olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper, set aside for about 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator
Meanwhile combine the balsamic, shallot, tarragon and parsley in a small bowl. Add the oil slowly, whisking constantly and season to taste with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Turn the grill on high for 5 minutes. Grill the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a cutting board and slice thinly on the diagonal.
Toss the mixed greens with a quarter of the dressing. Divide the greens between four plates. Top with the marinated fennel, grilled chicken and avocado. Spoon about a tablespoon of dressing over each plate and pass the remaining dressing if desired.
Yield: 4 servings.