Genuine sweet tea is the true elixir of summer. Go beyond the glass though and feast on this Grilled Sweet Tea Chicken Salad made with seasonal spinach, strawberries, and grilled asparagus. Your tastes buds won’t be able to get enough of the sweet tea vinaigrette either!
It is market season in Columbus and I am ready to start sharing fresh seasonal recipes with you folks. This recipe is part of an over-all sweet tea concept. Including the Adults-Only Sweet Tea Punch recipe I made recently. There is something about sweet tea that just screams summer to me. It brings back childhood memories of long, lazy summer days with nothing to do but explore the neighborhood until the street lights came on.
Grilled Sweet Tea Chicken Salad
This recipe is really easy because sweet tea does double duty as a chicken breast marinade as well as the base for a sweet and tangy vinaigrette. A combination of fresh herbs and dried spices add layers of flavor to this tasty recipe. Seasonal produce like spinach, strawberries, and grilled asparagus pair deliciously with smoky tender chicken. I added candied almonds for a pleasant crunch too.
This Grilled Sweet Tea Chicken Salad really is a farmers market dream folks. The ingredients in this simple salad are all seasonal and available at pretty much any grocery store right now. So don’t stress if you can’t make it to your local market, the important thing is noshing on fresh seasonal produce! I used a mix of spinach and arugula, but kale would also be lovely. You could even mix a little mayo or sour cream to the vinaigrette for a creamier, slightly heartier dressing. Kale is great for robust dressings, whereas you want to keep it light with tender greens like spinach.
Are you a sweet or unsweet tea person? Did you know that true sweet tea is made with a simple syrup? You can read more about How to Make Flavored Simple Syrups in an article I wrote for SoFabFood!
Grilled Sweet Tea Chicken Salad
- 1 tea bag black tea
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tbsp stone grain mustard
- 2-3 gloves garlic finely minced
- 3 tbsp cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme
- 2/3 cup canola oil divided
- 1 pound chicken breast
- 4 cups spring greens
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 1 cup arugula
- 1 small bunch asparagus spears approximately 6-7 spears
- 1/2 pint fresh strawberries tops removed and sliced thinnly
- 1/4 sugared almonds roughly chopped
- 2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- Salt to taste
- Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan, add brown sugar. Stir until dissolved. Place tea bag in saucepan, remove from here. Set aside to cool.
- Add sweet tea, mustard, garlic, vinegar, thyme, and 1/2 cup oil to a large bowl or mason jar. Whisk or close and shake to combine.
- Place chicken in a large sealable plastic bag, cover with approximately 1/3 of the dressing. Reserve remaining. Marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium high heat.
- Toss asparagus spears with 2 tablespoons oil. Place in pan, grill 4-5 minutes until tender. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
- Remove chicken from marinade, pat off excess liquid with paper towel. Oil skillet as needed with remaining oil. Grill chicken 4-5 minutes per side until done. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
- Add greens to a large bowl. Top with chicken and remaining ingredients. Drizzle with desired amount of reserved dressing. Salt and pepper to taste.