Summer is almost here and that means one thing: it’s time to move cooking outdoors. Grilling is a great way to infuse flavor into food while keeping your house cool. Burgers are the iconic grill food, but some of our local Bay Area chefs are getting much more creative and grilling everything from fruit to lettuce!
Chefs de Cuisine Brian Anderson and Jeff Tachibana have developed two guest favorites using apricots from Farm to Fork Partner Frog Hollow Farms in Brentwood, CA. Apricots were first grown in ancient India around 3000 BCE. By the 16th century, they were cultivated widely in Northern Europe and now Frog Hollow Farms grows ten certified organic varieties.
And while eating them fresh is always a treat, grilling brings out the fruit’s natural sweetness. In cooking demonstrations at various accounts, Chefs Brian and Jeff are showing guests how to incorporate grilled apricots into light, summery entrées. We’ve included two of our guest’s favorite recipes below for you to make at home.
Apricot Curried Chicken Salad
By Chef de Cuisine Brian Anderson
- 6 each fresh apricots, halved and pitted
- 1 pound chicken breast (4 ounces each)
- 4 cups baby arugula
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 2 ounces aged balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons Garam Masala
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup cashews (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Marinate the chicken in 2 tablespoons of olive oil with Garam Masala, salt and pepper for 30 minutes.
- Grill chicken over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until an internal temp of 165F.
- Toss apricots in 1 tablespoon olive oil and grill over high for 5 minutes, until lightly charred and softened.
- Toast the cashews in a skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly for three minutes or until golden. Transfer to a cutting board and roughly chop.
- Place the cashews in a bowl and whisk with vinegar and remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the arugula and toss.
- Plate 1/2 cup of the arugula, top with apricots, crumbled goat cheese, and chicken breast.
Grilled Romaine Salad
By Chef de Cuisine Jeff Tachibana
Marinade and Dressing
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
- 2 cups mint leaves, (about 1 bunch)
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 4 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Favorite dry rub
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 each head romaine lettuce
- 1/2 cup blue cheese
- 6 each fresh apricots
- 1 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup pistachios, toasted
- Preheat grill.
- To prepare dressing: Add raspberries to food processor. Add 2 cups mint, orange zest, orange juice, honey, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. With the motor running, gradually drizzle in oil. Reserve 1 cup for the dressing.
- To prepare salad: Add two tablespoons of olive oil to chicken and sprinkle 2 tablespoons of dry rub and coat evenly. Marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Lightly oil the grill rack (hold a piece of oil-soaked paper towel with tongs and rub it over the grate). Grill the chicken over medium-high heat until no longer pink in the center, 6 to 8 minutes per side. Discard leftover marinade.
- Meanwhile, combine lettuce and apricot wedges in a large bowl. Add two tablespoons of raspberry dressing and toss to coat. Quickly sear the romaine and get a nice char on the apricots. Divide the romaine among 4 plates.
- Slice the chicken and arrange over the salads. Sprinkle with pistachios, grilled apricots, blue cheese and drizzle the raspberry dressing over the salad and garnish with mint and serve.