Summer is definitely over, but that shouldn’t stop us from reminiscing about the quintessential dishes that we’ve enjoyed over the last few weeks, and all of the season’s star produce. One of my favorite things about summer is the melon. Canteloup, honeydew, Brazilian, yellow, orange and green, always sweet and refreshing. Sometime in August I bought a beautiful little honeydew and also found myself at home alone that week. I decided on a fresh little salad that combines chicken (in this case, leftover ginger and spice fried chicken strips, but grilled chicken with a little garlic would be perfect as well), salty pancetta and juicy, ripe honeydew. I paired it with a light lemony dressing that I’ll think you’ll love.
The salad was obviously very quick to put together because I had leftover chicken. If you do too, then you’ll be all set. And even though summer is over, I need something to hang on to, to help get me through the cold winter months ahead. And today, it’s remembering this perfectly summer salad, eating it on my back terrace with the world’s most adorable cat, and the last of the sun’s warming rays.
Chicken, pancetta and honeydew salad
Dressing (for one!):
1 T lemon juice
1 T walnut oil
1-2 t mustard
Dash of poppy seeds
2-3 leftover chicken strips (original recipe here!) or a bit of leftover chicken, or some chicken breast grilled with garlic
1/4 of a small honeydew melon, cut into 1 inch pieces
2-3 slices of pancetta or smoked bacon
Simply cook the pancetta in a large pan over medium-high heat until it begins to crisp and brown evenly. Reduce heat to medium towards the end of the cooking process and add the leftover chicken, cut into pieces, and warm thoroughly.
While the chicken is warming, whisk all dressing ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the melon and stir a bit more to incorporate the juices into your vinaigrette. Add the pancetta and warmed chicken, then the salad. Toss to combine and serve right away!