24 May 2013

Grilled Pesto Chicken and Marinated Tomatoes with Massaged Kale Salad

Grilled Chicken with Pesto and Marinated Tomatoes and a Massaged Kale Salad
Massaged kale salad is all the rage and has been for a while. In some circles it may even be passé already, but I'm not so hip that I can’t still enjoy a good thing. After all, I am sometimes 3 steps behind when it comes to being on trend. The main reason this kale salad would not be on my radar would be the fact that I am just not fond of bitter greens. In true More Than Burnt Toast fashion I would be obliged to eat them when served at a friends home but to prepare bitter greens at home was never considered...until now. For those of you feel the same let me urge you to give this salad a try. On the long weekend my daughter deliciously changed my mind by preparing this mind-altering salad. I have always been a firm believer that everyone will enjoy everything if it is prepared in a way that they would enjoy it. This is why you will find things like cauliflower alfredo sauce and brussel sprout coleslaw in my kitchen.

I was so convinced that I found myself buying a huge bunch of curly kale upon my return home. This may have been the one and only time I have been compelled to duplicate something almost immediately. Massaging the kale changes it composition at a molecular level where the leaves become soft and supple and release some of their juices to become almost sweet. It's science that's pure in its simplicity.

As a self professed "born again" kale lover, it’s difficult not to imagine it served alongside a quick grilled chicken such as the recipe below. I can't forget the chicken even if I am excited by the kale. Dinner is literally on the table in 20 minutes, from the time you butterfly and marinate the chicken to massaging the salad. The chicken is quick and tasty if you have  homemade pesto sauce on hand. I don't know about you but once the weather co-operates spending a lot of time in the kitchen is not where I want to be. This meal will surprise you in more ways than one.

**Grilled Chicken with Pesto and Marinated Tomatoes**

4 large skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2/3 cup homemade or store-bought basil pesto
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 package cherry tomatoes or equivalent
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; more for brushing
1-1/2 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 generous teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (or a mix of cilantro, basil, and flat-leaf parsley)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Turn your gas grill onto high.

Butterfly the chicken breasts by making a horizontal cut through the center of the thickest long side of the breast. Cut almost but not entirely through each breast. Open the breasts like a book. Cover with plastic wrap and pound to flatten slightly to an even thickness. This allows your chicken to cooks quickly and evenly without drying out. It makes the moistest chicken breasts ever!! Combine the pesto with 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice and rub over the chicken in a nonreactive dish.

Cut each tomato in half.  In a small bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, garlic, mustard, basil, remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and a generous amount of pepper. Add the tomatoes and combine well.

Remove the chicken from the pesto, shaking to remove excess marinade. Grill, turning once, until golden on both sides and cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve hot or at room temperature. At the table, spoon the tomatoes over the chicken.

Serves 4

**Massaged Kale Salad**
based on a recipe from For the Love of Food

1 large bunch curly kale, de-stemmed and torn or chopped into pieces
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
Any desired toppings

Add the kale to a medium mixing bowl along with the salt, olive oil and lemon juice."Massage" kale for five minutes, or until leaves are sweet and tender. Wash your hands. 

Add any additional toppings if desired such as roasted nuts, dried fruit, sprouts, or sunflower seeds. Serve! Enjoy!!

Serves 4

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. Really delicious Val!! I love this!

  2. Hi Val, I love your 20 minute little wonder. I have not been on the bandwagon of the kale fad either. Well maybe as partly as this vegetable is not commonly imported to Hong Kong. However that grilled chicken with pesto and tomatoes is so hitting my grill this weekend. Have a super weekend. BAM

  3. I'll take kale any way I can get it.

  4. Delicious and so summery!



  5. Well, call me further behind. I'm not familiar with this method of kale. I'm not a bitter greens fan either, but I could really go for this fabulous meal.

    1. I had had kale once in my lifetime and do not care for bitter greens. Therefore I highly recommend this method.

  6. I must be way behind..I had never even heard of massaging kale..makes sense..Looks good:)

    1. Massaging kale is therapeutic too, just knowing you are eating something that is so good for you.

  7. Hmmmm, massaged kale is a new one to me. I'm usually the last one to try something new that is going around. I'm not a big raw kale fan but you haven gotten me curious. The chicken looks delicious. Have a great holiday weekend, Val.

    1. I had had kale once before in my life time and did not enjoy it. I highly recommend this salad to change minds.

  8. I'd love both of these for dinner!

  9. I am more unhip. Hadn't heard of massaged kale before you enlightened me!

  10. I love the vibrant looks of this meal. Great photo Val. I guess we are all behind the times because I have not heard of massaged kale either.

  11. I always thought it was the acid also, but good to know that it's the oil! I just made a massaged kale salad yesterday...glad to hear you've been won over by them!

  12. I love kale SO much, but have never tried it this way, Val. :-) I guess I'm behind the times too. :-)

  13. Massaged Kale Salad? You are totally speaking my language. I love kale salads, and the rest that you paired with it sounds fabulous too!

  14. I think that I'm less hip than you Val in that I have not tried Kale yet. I see all these recipes and shy away; however, now hearing your validation, I know that I must try it, especially in a healthy salad! Hope you're doing well in your neck of the woods!


  15. Okay, you've convinced me, I'm trying it! See there are lots of us less hip than you! In fact I think you're quite the hipster! :)

  16. So fresh and loaded with flavours! Love kale, pesto and chicken...this is right up my alley.

  17. the salad is swell, but i love pesto and chicken together. great meal!

  18. It looks and sounds delicious - if I could get kale. It's not caught on here. Not even the seeds to plant LOL But I will have lots of chard if we ever get summer... Love the chicken!


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