Posted on 20 November 2011 by

Grilled Chicken with Cherry Tomato-Caper-Lemon Salad

By David Harbilas

I recently had dinner with a friend at Radici Restaurant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

The chef is a friend of mine, and he was kind enough to send us a simple tomato salad, but the server also mentioned a dish made with a tomato-caper-lemon salad, and though I didn’t try that dish I thought I would try it at home.

Here is what I imagine the dish to be like.

Rather than use actual lemon slices or segments, which some Italian recipes do make use of (and which I find to be just too tart), I decided to use both the zest and juice of the lemons. The basic idea is for the saltiness of the capers to off-set the sweetness of the tomatoes and for that, in turn, to be off-set by the acid of the lemon. This can easily be called a salsa, and if allowed to sit and macerate for a long enough time will resemble an uncooked sauce.

Serves 2

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • Zest of 1 lemon and juice of ½ the lemon
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil for cooking

In a bowl, combine the cherry tomatoes with the lemon juice, parsley, capers, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. A word of caution: add the salt sparingly and readjust the seasoning as necessary, since capers are often very salty on their own. Chop the lemon zest as finely as possible–it should almost resemble a powder. Press all the liquid out of the lemon zest with paper towels. Add the lemon zest to the salad. Preheat a grill to high heat and brush the chicken breasts with olive oil and season each side with salt and pepper. Grill 4-5 minutes per side, or until the juices from the chicken run clear when pierced with a knife. Serve the chicken with the salad.

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