The title of this recipe ignored me to the point that I almost refused to make it. Now it is possible that there are some Tuscan dishes I have yet to experience but I have never eaten anything like this while I was in Tuscany. To me this seemed more like something Olive Garden might place on their menu, calling it Tuscan, deceiving all of those who have never been to Italy.
However (you knew that was coming right?), I liked the sounds of the ingredients and decided to whip it up last week.
We LOVE big summer salads - generally eating 2 or 3 of them a week. It must be the combination of fresh produce, speed, and relaxed eating on the terrace and this one was a perfect addition to our repertoire (once I got past that stupid name).
Note to fine cooking - Pollo Forte means strong chicken . . . did your chicken work out prior to being made into a salad?
I shall just call this one Grilled Chicken and Pepper salad and we shall call it a delicious day!
5 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 oz. each)
Olive oil for brushing
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and very thinly sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and very thinly sliced
1 poblano chile or other hot green chile, cored, seeded, and very thinly sliced
1/2 to 1 jalapeño, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
20 red cherry tomatoes, halved
20 yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
3/4 cup Niçoise, Kalamata, or other good-quality black olives, pitted
30 basil leaves, washed, dried, and torn into small pieces
Heat the grill. Lightly brush the chicken with olive oil.Grill the chicken breasts on one side until almost firm to the touch, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and then turn them over and continue to grill until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the grill and let cool. Cut the chicken on the diagonal into thin slices. Put the chicken in a large bowl along with the bell peppers, poblano and jalapeño chiles, and onion. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk the two vinegars, garlic, red pepper flakes, and extra-virgin olive oil.
Toss the vinaigrette with the chicken and peppers and let stand at least 30 minutes and up to an hour. Add the cherry tomatoes, olives, and basil. Gently toss the salad and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the salad stand another 15 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld.