Have an appetite for more waffling? Preorder the cookbook "Will it Waffle?" on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Indiebound. And keep up on all the waffling via Twitter and Facebook. (And, no, this recipe is not in the book. So the book is 53 more recipes.)
Every week or two, we end up having salad for dinner. It's not noble. It's not particularly health-minded. It's usually because I'm feeling lazy and don't know quite what to eat. If I don't know what I want to eat and I end up eating junk, it tends to sit in my stomach and remind me of my bad decision. If, on the other hand, I'm indecisive and end up eating salad, my feelings are usually along the lines of: "Hey, I'm incapable of deciding what to eat for dinner, but at least I ate salad!"
What goes into the salad depends on what's on hand. Lettuce, usually. Tomatoes. Cucumber. Those are the basics. If I have some beans hanging around, I’ll throw those in there. Chicken is good. Chunks of cheese are nice. Bacon is always welcome. Hard-boiled eggs work too.
As you might imagine, my fridge can become an eclectic repository of waffling projects, which is how this salad came to be. The waffled chicken breast was waiting to be used up.
Pounding the chicken breast to a uniform thickness means it cooks quickly and evenly. The recipe below calls for just salt and pepper, but you could add some cumin or some paprika to change things up if you'd like.
The dressing comes together in no time flat. It's bright and tangy with a nice creaminess from the tahini.
I find it's best to dress the whole salad at once and then dole out the portions, but if you know you're going to have leftovers, just dress what you're going to eat. Leaving the dressing to sit on the salad for a day or two in the refrigerator doesn't do the greens any favors.
Now whatever else you tell yourself, you can say: "At least I ate salad."
Time: 20 minutes
Yield: Serves 2
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 8 ounces)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small head of lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces and thoroughly washed and dried
- 4 ounces cherry tomatoes
- 1 small cucumber
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- Dash of salt
- Preheat the waffle iron on medium.
- Place the chicken in a zip-top bag, set it on a flat surface, and press down on the chicken with a cutting board or heavy frying pan. Pound the chicken to a thickness of about 1/2 inch.
- Remove the chicken from the bag and season it with the salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken into the waffle iron, close the lid, and cook or about 4 minutes, or until cooked through. (The chicken should reach 165 degrees as measured with an instant-read thermometer. Or, cut into it and be sure no pink remains in the center.)
- Remove the chicken from the waffle iron and place it on a cutting board to cool slightly.
- While the chicken cools, prepare the rest of the ingredients: Chop the cucumber into bite-sized pieces and cut the cherry tomatoes in halves. In a large bowl, toss the cucumber, tomato and lettuce.
- Cut the chicken into pieces and toss into the salad.
- In a mason jar with a lid or a small bowl with a whisk, combine the dressing ingredients until thoroughly blended.
- Add the dressing and toss the salad to coat the components thoroughly.