I don’t know about you, but salads as a main course are not something I crave in the fall and winter months.  In summer, however, I am all about them.  I suppose it’s just the bounty of fresh produce that makes salads so appealing, and the subsequent absence in the winter making me less enthused.  Other than strawberry spinach salad, I don’t normally gravitate to fruit-salad combos, but this one just works.  And bonus, it involves grilling, another one of my favorite things about summer.

Mixed greens are topped with a grilled chicken breast marinated in a raspberry vinaigrette which is also used to dress the salad.  Fresh raspberries, grilled peaches, baguette slices with brie, and candied almonds finish the whole thing off for a meal that embodies this season of plenty.  We loved the balance of sweet and savory, and the variety of textures this dish provides.  This makes a lovely lunch or a light and healthy dinner, and it’s most definitely not your run of the mill, boring salad.  I’ll definitely continue making the vinaigrette separately as well to expand my repertoire of homemade salad dressings.

  • Yield 4 servings


For the candied almonds:
½ cup slivered almonds
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. butter
Pinch of salt

For the raspberry vinaigrette:
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup fresh raspberries
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. minced fresh basil
1 tbsp. shallot, finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil

For the salad:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. honey
4 1-inch thick slices French bread
4 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
Salt and pepper
4 thin slices brie
1 cup fresh raspberries
4-6 oz. salad greens (I used a mix of baby spinach and romaine)


  • 01

    To make the candied almonds, toast the almonds in a small skillet over medium heat until light golden brown.  Stir in the sugar, butter and salt and cook until the sugar dissolves and coats the almonds.  Transfer to a plate to cool.  Break into pieces and set aside.

  • 02

    To make the vinaigrette, combine the vinegar, raspberries, mustard, honey, basil and shallot in a small bowl.  Whisk together well, mashing the berries with the whisk.  Drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly to incorporate.  Reserve ½ cup of the mixture for the chicken.  The rest will be used to dress the salad.

  • 03

    Heat the grill to medium-high.  Immerse the chicken breast halves in the reserved marinade and let sit for 15 minutes, turning once or twice to coat evenly.  In a small bowl combine the oil and the honey.  Brush the mixture onto both sides of the baguette slices and the cut sides of the peaches.

  • 04

    Season both sides of the chicken breast halves with salt and pepper.  Grill until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer registers 160˚ F, about 3 minutes per side.  Grill the peaches until lightly marked and the baguette slices just until lightly toasted.  Flip the baguette slices, top with the brie and continue to cook just until the cheese is melted.

  • 05

    Toss the salad greens with the reserved vinaigrette.  Gently toss with the fresh raspberries and the candied almonds.  Plate the salad mixture, top with the grilled chicken, peaches and baguette slices.  Serve immediately.