We have so enjoyed the longer daylight, hiking the dune trails, and the warm breezy days at the lake. It’s early in the season and the water is still chilly. I’ve been in once, yes all the way under, or it doesn’t count in my family. There is no such thing as sitting looking vogue on the beach. We are all fish and absolutely cannot resist the temptation of water without diving in wholeheartedly, well in this case, plunging into the deep blue.
This is going to be a quick post today as the end of the school year is drawing near with lots of loose ends to tie up. I’d like to share a favorite summer one dish recipe with you. It’s fresh and healthy. The sweet corn has been so deliciously sweet, juicy, and crunchy. I’m smiling at the idea of corn being juicy, but it really is. I literally had so much sweet corn juice on my cutting board that I poured it into the dish as part of the dressing. Add to that, the salty creamy feta which is its’ perfect compliment. Fresh basil. Good peppery olive oil. Fresh lemon juice.
Every time I serve this dish, friends want the recipe. It is really a bit more of a short list of ingredients that you chop and toss together. I make mine with whole wheat orzo. It’s the perfect late afternoon ‘go to’ after swimming at the lake all day. It packs up easily to take on a picnic. Somehow, food tastes so good eaten outdoors. What’s not to love? I hope you enjoy!
Sweet Corn, Basil, & Feta Chicken Salad
1 lb organic chicken breasts, trimmed
8 oz goat's milk feta
3-4 ears worth of sweet corn kernels, raw
generous bunch of fresh basil
1 T each of chives, thyme, and oregano (optional)
1/2 lb whole wheat orzo
Juice of a whole lemon
extra virgin olive oil
Grill or poach the chicken. For grilling, heat the grill on medium high, brush the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Sear both sides and then reduce heat to medium to cook through. For poaching, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and fill with 1" of water. Drizzle olive oil over chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Once cooked, place in the refrigerator to cool.
Meanwhile, get a pot of generously salted water boiling on the stove. Cook the orzo according to package instructions. When the orzo is al dente, drain the water and run cold water over to cool. Set aside.
Thinly slice the chicken. Hand crumble the feta. Husk the corn and cut the kernels off the cob. Hand tear the fresh basil. Finely chop the chives. Destem the thyme and oregano. Juice the lemon.
Combine the chicken, feta, corn, basil, chives, thyme, oregano, orzo, and lemon juice. Drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss and serve.