Finding Thyme to Cook

Thyme is of the Essence

“Dinner” Salad

Romaine and Chicken Tenders w/ Creamy Parmesan-Garlic Dressing

romaine w tenders 12

Hearts of Romaine

Cherry Tomatoes (halved)

Buttermilk Chicken Strips (recipe follows)

Seasoned Croutons (recipe follows)

Creamy Parmesan-Garlic Dressing (recipe follows)

There are some evenings when a good  salad can make the best dinner.  Since we have Farmer’s Markets all year in Southern California, the abundance of lettuces and other produce are tempting no matter what time of the year it is.  Often, I just throw some choice ingredients in a bowl with a bit of leftover diced chicken, and dinner is served.  However, there are two things I do regularly to make every salad phenomenal.

#1 Homemade croutons

Making croutons does take just a little more effort, but your salad will thank you.

# 2 Homemade dressing

Most salad dressings are easy to make and customize for every taste.  Sometimes I will make my husband blue cheese, but prefer a  balsamic vinaigrette for myself.

This meal evolved from a Tyler Florence recipe — Chicken Paillard with greens and a Creamy Parmesan dressing.  The dressing looked amazing, and so did the rest.  I went a different direction and made chicken tenders (with a bit of a kick) and served them on Romaine and altered the dressing (not a big fan of anchovies).  Here is the result!!

Buttermilk Chicken Strips

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 3-4 tablespoons Canola oil

romaine w tenders 2romaine w tenders 1

Combine buttermilk and hot sauce in  a bowl.  Put flour, paprika, red pepper, salt and pepper in a separate bowl.

Dip tenders in buttermilk, then dredge in flour mixture.

Heat oil in large non-stick skillet.  Add chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Turn and cook on other side for 4-5 minutes until done.

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  • sourdough bread – without crust and cut into large cubes
  • olive oil
  • seasoning mix (I use “Sandwich Sprinkle” from Penzeys Spices, but use your favorite seasoning blend)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine bread cubes olive oil and seasoning mix on baking dish.  I like to use a lot of seasoning.

Place bread cubes on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, turn croutons over and bake an additional 10 minutes.


Creamy Parmesan-Garlic Dressingromaine w tenders 9

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cloves garlic – smashed
  • juice of two lemons
  • 1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

romaine w tenders 7romaine w tenders 8 Combine egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice in blender.  Process for about 30 seconds.

While blender is still running, slowly add olive oil to emulsify.  Stir in Parmesan cheese.

Arrange Romaine leaves on a plate with cherry tomatoes.  Place chicken strips and croutons on top.

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Drizzle with dressing.  Makes a wonderful light weeknight meal or lunch.

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Serves four.



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3 thoughts on ““Dinner” Salad

  1. yum, that chicken looks sooooo good! and it’s something even the peanut will eat! well…minus the tomatoes 😉

  2. hey! he’s my kid remember? he likes a little spice! haha!

    actually he liked more spice when he was younger. he still likes pungent foods like blue cheese and feta but ever since the thai chili pepper rubbed off on his hot dog he’s been anti spice…poor guy!

    I’m so making this salad it’s perfect!

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