All winter we must endure either not eating strawberries, or suffering through the non-seasonal variety that have traveled far distances only to land tasteless into our fridge. But now it is the glorious time of year when local farmer’s markets are brimming with bright beautiful strawberries.
One of the women I know at my beloved farmer’s market from Stony Hill Farms in Chester, N.J. suggested I bake chicken with fresh strawberries for a delicious dinner. I loved that idea, but decided I wanted to try something that kept the freshness of the strawberries intact.
I also love fruit salsas like mango salsa or peach salsa in late summer. So I thought: time to make a strawberry salsa.
If you’re thinking, what the f@#$ is wrong with you, lady? There’s no flipping chance my kid would ever eat grilled chicken with strawberry salsa. OK, I hear you.
Most kids I know love strawberries: They are sweet, colorful and can be eaten with your fingers. So strawberries are already a familiar food and that might make your kids slightly warmer to the idea of trying a new food. To make this dish a little more kid-friendly, try serving it along some some schnitzel fingers. And if herbs scare your kids, leave out the basil and mint.
Meanwhile, you can still make yourself the grilled chicken version, and add the fresh mint and basil on top instead of into the salsa itself. This is an easy enough dish to make for a weeknight, but I think “fancy” enough for Shabbat dinner as well.
For the chicken:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp orange juice
Juice and zest of one lime
Pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
For the strawberry cucumber salsa:
1 cup diced strawberries
½ cup peeled and diced seedless cucumber
Juice of one lemon
1 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, julienned
1 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, julienned
½ tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
1. In a large bowl combine the olive oil, orange juice, lime juice, zest, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Add chicken breasts and allow to marinate around 20-30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, add all the salsa ingredients in a bowl. After you have added the sugar, stir a few times and then let the salsa sit. The sugar will help release the natural juice from the strawberries, creating a more “salsa-like” consistency.
3. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray or a light drizzle of canola oil. Grill chicken breasts in two batches, and depending on the thickness, cook each side around 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes before serving.
4. Place chicken breasts on a platter and top with salsa. Serve on top of baby spinach if desired.