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Romaine Salad with Chicken, Apricots & Mint

From: EatingWell

This bright and summery entree salad, which uses a savory apricot puree as both marinade and dressing, makes a refreshing change from the standby Chicken Caesar. The salad also works well with sliced peaches or nectarines.

Servings: 4 servings, 2 1/2 cups each
Prep: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Rated : Not yet rated
1/2 cup  dried apricots
1 cup  hot water
2 cups  loosely packed mint leaves, (about 1 bunch)
1 teaspoon  freshly grated orange zest
1/2 cup  orange juice
2 tablespoons  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
1 pound  boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed of fat
1 large head  romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces (10 cups)
6   fresh apricots, or plums, pitted and cut into wedges
1 cup  loosely packed mint leaves, (about 1/2 bunch), roughly chopped
1/2 cup  sliced almonds, toasted (see Tip)
1. Preheat grill.
2. To prepare marinade & dressing: Soak dried apricots in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain and transfer apricots to a 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.
3. To prepare salad: Transfer the remaining marinade to a large sealable plastic bag. Add chicken, seal and turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
4. 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 the marinade.)
5. Meanwhile, combine lettuce, apricot (or plum) wedges and chopped mint in a large bowl. Add the reserved dressing and toss to coat. Divide the salad among 4 plates. Slice the chicken and arrange over the salads. Sprinkle with almonds and serve.
Tip: To toast almonds: Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F until golden brown and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Toasted almonds will keep, tightly covered, at room temperature for up to 1 week.
MAKE AHEAD TIP: The dressing will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Nutrition Facts
Calories 456, Total Fat 20 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Monounsaturated Fat 13 g, Cholesterol 66 mg, Sodium 433 mg, Carbohydrate 33 g, Fiber 10 g, Protein 34 g, Potassium 1281 mg. Daily Values: Vitamin A 230%, Vitamin C 110%. Exchanges: Fruit 1,Vegetable 3,Lean Meat 4,Fat 1.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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