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How to Make Yummy Weeknight Meals

Food guru Sara Foster, author of Fresh Every Day and Sara Foster’s Casual Cooking, shares her easy recipes that take you from Monday through Friday.

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Warm Sourdough Bread Salad with Chicken and Pine Nuts

Serves: 2 (plus leftovers)

4 cups 1-inch chunks of crusty, rustic-style sourdough bread
3 Tbl. olive oil
Sea salt

Roasted Lemon-Garlic Vinaigrette
1 lemon, halved
2 garlic cloves, skin on
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbl. white wine vinegar
1 Tbl. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 Tbl. golden raisins
2 Tbl. pine nuts, lightly toasted
2 garlic cloves, smashed and roughly chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups loosely packed arugula, watercress leaves, or mixed baby greens,
washed and drained
2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)

1. Preheat the oven to 475°F.
2. Toss the bread chunks with the olive oil and season them with salt. Scatter the chunks in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast for 12 to 15 minutes, until they’re golden brown and the edges are crispy.
3. Reduce the oven temperature to 450°F.
4. To make the vinaigrette, place the lemon, cut side down, and the whole garlic cloves in an ovenproof dish and drizzle with 1 Tbl. of the olive oil. Roast the lemon and garlic for about 30 minutes, until they’re soft and golden brown. Remove from the oven (but keep the oven on) and set aside until they’re cool enough to handle.
5. Juice the lemon into a small bowl. Peel the garlic cloves, add to the bowl with the lemon juice, and smash them with a fork. Add the vinegar and gradually whisk in the remaining 3 Tbl. of olive oil. Stir in the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Combine the chicken, bread, raisins, pine nuts, and garlic in a large bowl. Drizzle with half of the vinaigrette, season to taste with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Spread the salad on a rimmed baking sheet and place it in the oven for about 5 minutes, just to warm it slightly.
7. Remove the salad from the oven and return it to the bowl you tossed it in. Add the arugula and scallions, and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette. Toss gently to combine, season with additional salt and pepper, if desired, and serve warm.

Photo: Quentin Bacon/Clarkson Potter/Publishers

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