“I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.”
While I still have my memories of our time in British Columbia I have started to land back in reality, once again.
The past 2 weeks have been an endless blur of rushing to and fro, catching up on family and work commitments that were put on hold, while we vacationed. I don’t think we spend enough time enjoying life as we should.
In North America we take our few weeks per year vacation and then promptly return to our routines, quickly forgetting about the special time that we spent. In Europe, many countries take longer vacation periods where people pack up and go to the beach for a month in the summer.
Most of the time we live to work; while they work to live. It makes you wonder which culture has the right idea, doesn’t it?
Although the weeks are passing quickly, we are able to savour our last days of summer. We need to pack in a few more Bar BQs and a few trips to the beach before the cooler nights set in.
I love to enjoy a nice light salad for dinner, when I can. It balances all of the indulging that we do when cooking for a crowd. This recipe for Spinach Salad with Chicken, Strawberries, Feta and Almonds is a great salad that you can serve as a lunch or dinner entrée.
I also enjoy a glass of wine with my dinner, now and again. I paired this salad with a 2012 Sauvignon Blanc from the Peninsula Ridge Estates Winery in the Niagara Escarpment. This wine has a soft, subtle taste of mango and honey that lingers on your tongue. The aroma of citrus, mango and lime; are a perfect complement to the spinach, feta and strawberries. The wine is available in Ontario at the LCBO or directly from the winery.
Spinach Salad with Chicken, Strawberries, Feta, and Almonds
Makes 4 servings
2 tbsp. plus 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp. honey
1 medium shallot, minced
6 oz. loosely packed baby spinach leaves (about 6 cups)
8 oz. strawberries, stemmed and quartered (about 1-1/2 cups)
3 oz. crumbled feta cheese (about 3/4 cup)
Heat 2 tbsp. of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering hot. Pat the chicken dry and season with 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Cook, turning once, until just cooked through, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest, loosely covered with foil, for 5 minutes.
While the chicken cooks, toast the almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until evenly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil with the vinegar, honey, shallot, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries, feta cheese, and almonds and toss with enough of the dressing to coat. Arrange the salad on a platter or plates. Slice the chicken and arrange on the salad. Drizzle with some of the remaining vinaigrette, if desired, and serve.
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking Fresh & Quick Magazine