Grilled Chicken with Two Garden Salads

One of the great things about having a vegetable garden, no matter how small, is it forces you to use fresh ingredients. This meal is based around yellow wax beans, cherry tomatoes and arugula because that’s what was ready to harvest in my own garden.

I planted two containers full of yellow wax bean plants, and for the past week I’ve been harvesting like mad, picking more than 6 pounds so far. In the coming days I’ll be making many more bean dishes.

The arugula was more of an experiment, and it’s one that has paid off handsomely. It’s really best to plant lettuce earlier in the season, when it is cooler. I had a free wine barrel, however, so I figured it was worth the risk of bolting arugula. Fresh baby arugula, eaten 15 minutes after it has been harvested, has an amazing peppery taste that no store-bought green can ever match. Grab a shallow container, fill it with potting soil and plant some arugula seeds. For $1.50 worth of seeds you’ll have fresh arugula for the remainder of the summer.

For the chicken: Marinate in your favorite salad dressing, then grill. I used Wishbone Italian, just like my grandfather taught me.

For the arugula: This is a wonderful simple salad that highlights the arugula’s flavors. Combine torn arugula with cherry tomatoes and diced shallot. Toss with balsamic vinegar and olive oil and serve.

For the wax beans: This salad is worthy of an ingredient list.

  • 1 pound fresh yellow wax beans, ends removed and cut in half
  • 1 pound yellow fingerling potatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 2 ears corn
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard

Bring one large pot of water to boil. First cook the corn (2 minutes), then the beans (5 minutes). Fish out the beans with a slotted spoon, then add the potatoes. Cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Cut off the corn kernels from the cob, then combine the corn, beans and potatoes in a large serving bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, cider vinegar and mustard and pour on top. Season with salt and pepper.

  • jen

    I love your summer salad ideas. I’m going to look for wax beans in the market this week.
    I just want to confirm, you cooked the corn for two minutes in the boiling water, then took it out before you put in the beans?

    • Mark Evitt

      Correct – cook the corn beans and potatoes separately, but use the same water. It’s a little bit of a pain to strain the beans, but saves the time of heating more water.

  • Max

    This is psyching me up to go to the farmers market

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