What am I most looking forward to this spring? Picnic season! I love to pack a quick picnic lunch, hop in the car to escape the city and head into the mountains for the day. Covid-19 quarantines and stay-at-home orders may have put our picnic plans on hold for a little while, but it won’t last forever. In the meantime, why not prepare a picnic lunch to eat in the backyard? Or spread a blanket on the floor, invite the kids to bring their favourite stuffed animals, and have a picnic right there in the living room. It’s the little things, like a change in the daily routine, that make the monotony of being stuck indoors more bearable.
Today I’m partnering with Annie’s Homegrown and the FeedFeed to make preparing a picnic lunch a breeze. This Chicken Caesar Salad can be prepared entirely in advance – just serve it on toasted bread for a simple, picnic basket-friendly tartine.
I love how the flavours of this salad blend and marry over time. It’s actually better if you prepare the salad the night before and let it sit in the fridge for several hours before serving. However, if you’re like me, then you know I almost never plan ahead. Our picnics are always very spontaneous events. In that case, it’s just fine to serve the salad right after you’ve made it.
Stop by your local Natural Grocers to purchase Annie’s Dressings! Find your store here: Find your nearest Natural Grocers!
*This post is sponsored by Annie’s Homegrown and the FeedFeed.
Annie’s Chicken Caesar Salad Tartines
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
2 chicken breasts (approx. 7 oz./200g each)
2 TBSP olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 slices bacon (approx. 4 oz./110g) of bacon, cut into lardons
2 TBSP nonpareil capers, drained
2 TBSP parsley, chopped
1/2 cup Annie’s Organic Caesar Dressing, plus more for serving
4 thick slices of Ciabatta or other Artisan bread
1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1 heart of romaine, washed and sliced very thinly
Parmesan cheese, for serving
Coarse French grey sea salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 F (215C).
Brush chicken with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place chicken on a sheet pan and bake in the preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes, until the chicken registers a temperature of 165 F (75C) on a meat thermometer inserted into the center. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
While the chicken bakes, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a medium skillet. When hot, add the bacon slices and cook, stirring until the bacon is crisp. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
Dice the cooked chicken and place in a large bowl. Add the bacon, capers, parsley and Annie’s dressing. Toss to coat the chicken evenly. Place in the refrigerator to chill and allow the flavours to marry.
When ready to assemble the tartines, turn the oven to 375 F (190C).
Brush the bread slices on both sides with the remaining olive oil. Place directly on the oven rack and toast for about 4 minutes, turning halfway through and watching carefully so that the bread doesn’t burn. As soon as the bread comes out of the oven, rub with the cut side of the garlic clove.
Spoon the chicken salad onto each slice of bread. Top with shredded romaine lettuce. Using a vegetable peeler, slice a few thin slivers of Parmesan cheese to place on top. Sprinkle each tartine with a pinch of grey salt and more fresh ground black pepper. If desired, pour a little additional Annie’s Caesar Dressing over and serve.