For me, June means flowers in bloom, hot weather, flip flops and sundresses along with extra sunscreen. June also marks, In many parts of the country, the beginning of farmers' markets and fresh seasonal produce becoming finally available in the grocery stores. June brings fresh strawberries, juicy and sweet, that are finally worth buying to the store. It also often marks the first appearance of corn on the cob at road side farm stands and in the markets.
Today’s what’s for dinner menu features these two seasonal favorites along with marinated and grilled chicken breasts. June also kicks off grilling season in the northern and mid-western states.
June's In Season Menu
- Basil & Red Wine Marinated Chicken Breasts
- Corn Saute
- Strawberry Arugula Salad with Honey Vinaigrette
It is a fresh and flavorful menu that is a great option for a backyard barbecue with friends or for a weeknight meal with the family.
Basil & Red Wine Marinated Chicken Breasts
My sister and I found this recipe in the local Salem newspaper when I was visiting her in Oregon quite a few years ago. We have both been making it ever since.
The star in this recipe is the basil. The combination of the fresh and vibrate basil with the red wine vinegar, create a fresh and incredibly tender chicken breast. Since they are pounded thin, the cook evenly and quickly on the grill.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup grapeseed or olive oil
salt to taste
pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon style mustard
Pound chicken to 1/4 to 1/2 inches. (Short Cut: purchase thin cut chicken cutlets.) Place in a glass bowl or baking side along with remaining ingredients.
Marinate for about 1 hour, turning 1 to 2 times.
Preheat gas grill or an indoor grill pan.
Grill chicken over indirect heat about 3 minutes per side or until breast reach an internal temperature of 165 F.
The chicken breast can be served as an entree but they also make great sandwiches. I love to serve them on a ciabatta roll topped with a slice of provolone cheese and lemon garlic aioli and maybe even a few thinly sliced strips of roasted red bell peppers.
A quick version of an aioli combine 1 cup mayonnaise with 1 tablespoon Wildtree Zesty Lemon Grapeseed and1-2 teaspoons of Wildtree Garlic Galore Seasoning Blend, stirring to combine. Refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the menu.
The recipe for the Corn Saute can be found on www.foodnetwork.com. I love the simplicity of Melissa d’Arabian’s recipe and the flavors it brings together: sweet corn, zucchini, red peppers and onion. Fresh flavors and vibrant summer colors added to your plate.
I prefer to a red onion instead of a yellow onion to add even more color to the saute. I would recommend using an infused oil such as the roasted garlic grapeseed that I love. You could also use basil pesto or zesty lemon grapeseed instead of olive oil. Grapeseed has a high smoke point so it is preferable to olive oil for sauteing. The infused oils will add depth of flavor.
I played with the original recipe that I found in from Cuisine at Home magazine to make it a bit more flavorful by adding herbs, shallots and garlic to the vinaigrette. And, a salad is not a salad without a little cheese and something to add crunch.
I love the combination of the peppery arugula, the sweet berries and pecan, the slightly salty feta and the vinaigrette.
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon natural grapeseed or olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon fresh basil, rough chopped
1-2 shallot, finely chopped
4 cups arugula
2 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese cheese
1/2 cup candied pecans (located in the produced section near the croutons)
salt and white pepper, to taste
In a small blender or food processor, add all the dressing ingredients and process until combined and smooth. Scrap the sides down with a spatula occasionally, then process to incorporate honey fully. (No time to make the dressing. Wildtree's Cranberry Poppyseed would be a good substitute.)
In a large bowl, combine arugula, berries and add dressing, tossing to combine, until lightly coated. Add feta and nuts and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.