There’s only one poem I remember by heart from my childhood: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Bed in Summer. I don’t know why this is the poem I remember so well, but every year when the seasons change from winter to spring and the days get longer I think of this poem. The first verse goes like this:
Grilled Chicken and Spring Vegetable Salad
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup radishes cut into wedges
- 4 scallions cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3-4 cup Campari tomatoes cut into wedges
- 1/2 cup red grapes halved
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil just enough to coat the vegetables
- 1/4 cup barbecue sauce I like Bone Suckin' Sauce
- 1 head arugula
- 1 head red lettuce
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
Heat a grill to high. Sear chicken breasts on each side for 3 minutes before moving to a lower temperature area of the grill. Brush with barbecue sauce and cook for 3 minutes, flip and brush other side with barbecue sauce and cook another 2-3 minutes until cooked through but still moist.
While the chicken is cooking, toss the vegetables and grapes with olive oil. Grill asparagus and radishes for about 3 minutes in a grill basket, on a grill tray, or on a piece of aluminum foil set on the grill grates (this will prevent vegetables from falling through the grates). Add scallions, tomatoes, and grapes and grill until all the vegetables and grapes are cooked but still tender. The grapes and scallions will be more wilted, which is ok.
Remove chicken and vegetables from grill and set aside.
Divide the arugula and red lettuce among four plates. Top each plate of greens with an even mixture of grilled vegetables and grapes. Slice grilled chicken breasts and divide among plates.
Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, mint, garlic, salt, and pepper. Drizzle on salads and serve.
Grilling time will vary depending on thickness of chicken. Do not leave food on grill unattended, as items can quickly burn.