It’s so hot these days, I thought it would be a great time for a salad.  I opened the fridge and found some dried cherries sitting there and knew they would be a good start.  I added an apple and some brown sugar pecans.  For the vegetarians out there that would be perfect, but in my house I’m surrounded by men who like meat so I added some grilled chicken to the mix.

I started with some seasoning for the chicken.  Salt, pepper, thyme and garlic made a little paste for the chicken.

Spread the paste over both sides of the chicken, drizzle with olive oil and place on a hot grill.  I chose 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, but you could use 2 boneless, skinless breasts as well.

Grill over medium high heat until browned on both sides and juices run clear.  Once the chicken has rested, slice into bite size pieces to layer on top of the salad.

There’s a dressing that we’ll add to the cherry apple mix.  It starts with a cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, thyme and some minced garlic.

Whisk it all together and set aside.

The salad consists of Spinach, 1 sliced apple, 1/4 cup dried cherries, 1/4 cup sliced shallots and 1/4 cup cranberry juice.  Must have been in a hurry when taking pictures, I forgot the cranberry juice.

In a small saucepan drizzle some olive oil and add shallots to the pan.  Cook 2 minutes;  add sliced apples and cherries. When the apples start to soften, add the cranberry juice.

Simmer for a few minutes until the juice has reduced slightly and add the dressing mix.  Give it a stir to mix up all the flavors together.

Layer your spinach in a bowl and add the sliced grilled chicken, cherry apple mixture with a sprinkle of brown sugar pecans on top.

Cherry Apple Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken

1 bag Spinach
Olive Oil
1/4 cup sliced Shallots
1/4 cup Dried Cherries
1 Apple, cored, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup Cranberry Juice
Dressing Mix
Grilled Chicken
Brown Sugar Pecans

Drizzle olive oil in a small saucepan.  Add shallots and cook 2 minutes until they become translucent.  Add cherries and apples, continue cooking until apples become tender.  Add cranberry juice and simmer until juice begins to reduce.  Add the dressing mix and stir for 1 minute.

Assemble salad with spinach, top with grilled chicken slices, cherry apple mixture with brown sugar pecans sprinkled on top.

Grilled Chicken

3 boneless skinless Chicken Thighs
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 teaspoon Thyme
1 clove Garlic, grated on a fine microplane grater
Olive Oil

Combine salt, pepper, thyme and garlic together to make a paste.  Rub on both sides of chicken thighs, drizzle with olive oil and place on a hot grill.  Grill chicken over medium high heat approximately 5 – 7 minutes on each side.  (Not too high or the chicken will burn).  When the chicken has browned on both sides and juices run clear it’s ready.

Let chicken rest for a few minutes and slice diagonally into bite size slices.

Dressing Mix

1 tablespoon Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
3/4 teaspoon Brown Sugar
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon Thyme

Combine all ingredients with a wire whisk.