Call me stubborn, but I am not ready to surrender to the tastes of Fall quite yet. I still have plenty of tomatoes that need to be eaten from the garden so I am going to continue on eating summery foods until I can no longer. It don’t have anything against pumpkin spice lattes and butternut squash, but come on… why should we prematurely forget about the garden fruits of the summer when they’re still there, beckoning us to make bruschetta with them?
You’re as obsessed with the concept of bruschettta as I am, I hope. Juicy tomatoes soaked in a bath of garlic, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, buttery olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Nothing makes this combination better than eating it on top of a crispy, crusty piece of french bread… right? Well maybe not… I don’t know! You see, a while back when I was making a big batch of bruschetta for a party, I secretly saved some for myself in the fridge for the next day because I knew it would all get eaten otherwise. Somehow it ended up on my salad the next day, and I made some balsamic-charred chicken breasts and homemade whole-wheat croutons to go on top. It included all of the flavors and textures that are so amazing about traditional bruschetta and incorporated lots of greens for some great volume and nutrition. Balsamic Chicken Bruschetta Salad. Made this last night for dinner, it rocked.
Before we get into the recipe, I want to encourage you to get creative with this concept. You can take the traditional tomato bruschetta and go a number of ways with it. I once made bruschetta out of strawberries and goat cheese. Another idea is to get a little flavor of South America going and make my Chimichurri Avocado Toasts, which to this day, continue to be my most popular recipe of all time!
Or better yet, come up with your own ideas! Just be sure to send me a pic, or call me out on Instagram.
Alright alright alright, about this salad. Here we go!
What will you need?
For the salad + bruschetta mix:
4 cups cold romaine leaves, torn
2 medium tomatoes, diced and seeded
6 leaves fresh basil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
For the croutons:
2 slices of wheat bread, cut into small squares
1 tbsp butter, melted
How do you make it?
In a small pan, heat some olive oil, salt, pepper and a mixture of dried herbs. Cook your chicken breast until it is about 90% done. Remove the chicken from the heat and cut into 1-inch thick strips. You’ll notice that it might be slightly pink on the inside still – that is ok (just make sure to exercise proper food safety techniques). This is so you don’t overcook it when you throw it back in the pan to blacken the outside!
In the same pan, bring 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar to a simmer. Add the chicken back at high heat and blacken the outside with the simmering balsamic. YESSSS.
In a separate bowl, combine the diced tomato, sliced basil leaves, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh garlic, salt and pepper. I swear, it is going to take every last ounce of restraint to not eat all of this with a spoon, FYI.
To make the croutons, melt a little bit of butter in a small skillet and bring to light simmer. Add the bread cubes in and toss until the outsides are brown and crispy! Toss with a little bit of salt and pepper for some additional seasoning.
Salad assembly time! All three components of your Balsamic Chicken Bruschetta Salad are ready. Let’s make it look sexy now.
Fresh, crispy romaine on the bottom followed up with a huge scoop of the tomato mixture. Add your blackened balsamic chicken, croutons and more tomatoes on top.
I don’t even know what to say.