Here's a wonderful recipe from one of my all time favorite cook books, Cucina Rustica, by Viana La Place and Evan Kleiman. Cucina rustica translates as "simple kitchen." With a few choice ingredients, you can whip up a fantastic meal! Here's a nice spring salad for you to try.
Chicken and Mozzarella Salad - serves 4
1 whole chicken breast
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
5 T olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
1 green bell pepper (yellow, red or orange would be great too)
1/2 hothouse cucumber
1 large tomato
1/4 lb. haricots verts or tender green beans
3 celery stalks
1 fresh mozzarella, about 8 oz.
3 T. red wine vinegar
5 fresh basil leaves
Under the skin of each 1/2 chicken breast, insert a sprig of rosemary and a few slivers of garlic.
Rub with 1 T of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes or until the juices run clear. Let cool. Remove the skin and bones and cut chicken into dice. Peel the pepper with a vegetable peeler. Remove the seeds and membranes and cut into thin strips. Peel the cucumber, cut into half lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Cut cucumber crosswise into slices. Dice the tomato. Cook the haricots verts or garden variety green beans in salted boiling water to cover until tender but crisp. Refresh under cold water and drain on paper towels. Slice the celery stalks crosswise and coarsely chop the tender leaves. Cut the mozzarella into dice and drain on paper towels to remove excess moisture.
Assemble chicken, vegetables and mozzarella in a shallow salad bowl. Add the remaining olive oil, vinegar and season to taste. Tear the basil leaves and sprinkle over the top.