Fall has officially come to Lynchburg! The leaves are changing, there’s a chill in the air, and suddenly I’m craving everything Pumpkin Spice. #Basic? I guess it seems like no matter what the weather is like, though, even in the dead of winter, I’m always in the mood for a big salad. Based on what’s in season, I like to change my salad ingredients, and this one has all the warm and cozy harvest flavors: the most delicious grilled chicken marinated in a rosemary balsamic vinaigrette, with roasted grapes, walnuts, and smoked salt and rosemary goat cheese, all over a baby spinach salad. Yes, yes, yes!
If you haven’t roasted grapes before, I definitely recommend it. They become so sweet and bright without sacrificing their juicy pop. Honestly, I eat them as-is or with yogurt and granola, but they’re a fantastic addition to the salad here. I prefer to use walnut oil, but regular olive oil works great too! Just trust me, try this.
The rosemary balsamic marinade doubles salad dressing, and it works so nicely with the goat cheese and walnuts! I made this for dinner two nights in a row, and I still wanted more!
A few notes:
*For Paleo and Whole30 options, all you need to do is leave off the goat cheese. It’s as simple as that!
*I used Chevoo brand goat cheese (it’s smoked salt and rosemary flavored), but you can substitute any other you have.
Spinach Salad with Balsamic Rosemary Grilled Chicken & Roasted Grapes
A beautiful fall or winter salad, this has all the deep flavors you crave in the cool weather.
Marinated Chicken Breasts
- 1 lb chicken breasts
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 4 tbsp chèvre or goat cheese
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1 tbsp walnut or olive oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups red grapes
Trim the chicken breasts and pat them dry. If necessary, pound them to the desired thickness (I do this in a ziplock bag).
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, and seasonings.
Pour half of the mixture over the chicken, and set the other half aside.
Cover the chicken and refrigerate it while it marinates, at least 1 hour.
Heat about 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Grill chicken breasts for 4-5 minutes per side, or until cooked through.
Remove the chicken from heat, allow to cool slightly, and slice.
Preheat the oven to 400.
Wash and pat dry the grapes.
Drizzle oil and salt over the grapes, then toss to coat them.
Spread evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, turning once halfway through. Once the grapes are softened and bubbling, remove and allow to cool.
Serve warm or cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to enjoy them.
Assemble the salad by dividing the spinach into four bowls.
Top the bowls with cheese, walnuts, grapes, and chicken.
Drizzle each with salad dressing just before serving.