Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall
It’s been warm, and even though summer is officially over, I wanted to squeeze more summer of out the weekend. The mood: not ready to say goodbye.
But unfortunately, I was uninspired about cooking on Sunday, until I noticed that our backyard basil plant was still cranking out some spicy green leaves. My husband went grocery shopping and brought home a butternut squash and two chicken breasts. I love when my husband cooks, and his grilled chicken is supreme. The trick, he says, is to grill it away from the flame for about 20 minutes.
Suddenly, an entire meal was taking shape. I’d like to introduce you to a meal that bridges the seasons of summer and autumn. Voila!
Grilled chicken, roasted butternut squash and caprese salad!
The thing about this dish is, it’s super simple, but you need about an hour to roast the squash and marinate the chicken. So think of it as a multitasker’s dream. There’s the initial prep, but then you can do laundry (that’s what I did) or put your feet up. Your choice.
1. Chicken. This is for two people. Get two skinless breasts and soak them in lemon juice (juice of one lemon per breast), a splash of olive oil and salt and pepper. Pop them in the refrigerator with this lemony marinade for an hour or longer. Go straight to step #2 of preparing the squash before doing any more chicken stuff. After the chicken breasts marinate, toss them on the grill and keep an eye on them for about 20 minutes. Turn them a few times, and take them off when they are still juicy but firm and cooked through.
2. Slice a whole butternut squash (peeling still on) in half (longwise). Scrape out the seeds. Place the two halves on a cookie sheet skin-side down and sprinkle the flesh with olive oil and salt and pepper. This goes straight into the oven at 350 degrees for at least an hour.
3. Now the goodbye to summer part. Have a wide shallow bowl on standby. Cut up mozzarella cheese (fresh is best), tomatoes (we used half a small box of sweet cherry tomatoes,) and chiffonade or slice up a big handful of fresh basil. Put these three ingredients into the bowl and drizzle with a bit of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.
There you have it! An entire meal that happens to be fairly quick and easy to put together.
Goodbye to summer, hello to fall, all in one lovely, healthy, easy to prepare dish.
Kelley Colihan Robertson, E-RYT, CHWC
Health Advisor | E-Mail Kelley