Spring - maybe even Summer - made its way to Napa Valley this weekend. While I was hearing from friends and loved ones that a blizzard was pounding the Rocky Mountains, I was selfishly enjoying 85-degree sunny days. Like all rites of Spring (shaving my legs, digging out the sundresses, sneezing from the pollen), Ran and I cleaned up the grill, invited friends, and rolled out the hospitality for our first backyard BBQ of the year.
I wanted to make something light, relatively healthy, and of course, delicious. The result is this ridiculously tasty grilled chicken sandwich. But simply calling it a grilled chicken sandwich doesn't do it justice (just like here in Napa Valley you almost can't get "just" a tuna sandwhich; inevitably your tuna sandwich will cost $15 and be a grilled ahi steak with wasabi creme and organic microgreens on locally-baked foccacia... I love where I live, and yet really? I can't just get some chicken-of-the-sea on white bread?). But I digress.
So back to this sandwich: lemon-pepper grilled chicken breast atop a fresh ciabatta roll (grilled, of course), topped with an artichoke/roasted red pepper tapenade, lemon aioli, buffalo mozzerella and watercress. (Ok - so when I write it out like that, it sounds an awful lot like the tuna sandwich I just mocked. Oh well. I didn't say it wasn't good!)
It turned out great and was a big crowd pleaser. The only problem I'm having with it is what to call it! Suggestions, anyone, for a name for this chicken sandwich beyond compare? Until I can come up with something better, I'll just call it good!
Just Good Grilled Chicken Sandwich
- Grilled lemon-pepper chicken breasts (marinade recipe to follow)
- 6 fresh ciabatta rolls, halved and brushed with olive oil and then toasted on the grill
- Sliced buffalo mozzerella (two slices per sandwich)
- Artichoke/Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade (recipe to follow)
- Lemon Aioli (recipe to follow)
- Fresh watercress
Lemon-Pepper Marinade (makes enough for 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- Fresh-cracked black pepper, lots!
Artichoke/Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade
- 1 15-ounce can of artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups roasted red peppers, chopped
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- Salt, to taste