Green Salad with Romesco Sauce, Grilled Chicken, Hearts of Palm and Black Olives

Calçots en el fuego

Grilling calçots (spring onions) is typical throughout Catalonia in late winter/ early spring– Chris Ciolli

Later winter in Catalonia means afternoons spent at someone’s second property in the later winter sun scarfing grilled meats, rustic bread toasted over the fire, and spring onions (calçots) smeared in homemade calçot sauce. But as Semana Santa nears (Easter/Holy Week) Calçots or spring onion season in Catalonia is drawing to a close. So what to do with all the leftover calçots/romesco/salvitxada sauce? If you’re like me, you love this nutty, garlicky, tomato and red pepper sauce with grilled vegetables, spread on bread, and or even on potato chips, but you hate repetition in the kitchen. My ridiculous obsession with no repeats when it comes to cooking gave me an idea. Why not use it as dressing? And poof, this recipe for Green Salad with Romesco Sauce magically appeared, written on my brain and later transcribed to this blog.

Salad with Romesco, Grilled Chicken, Black Olives & Hearts of Palm

While it initially seemed overly thick for use as a dressing (to me at least) Romesco coats lettuce well and makes for a tasty salad. Since we often eat salad as a one plate meal, I added slices of (canned) hearts of palm, grilled chicken breast, and black olives to finish it off.

Ingredients Green Salad with Romesco (Serves 2)

  • 2 tbsp Romesco Sauce (Link to Recipe for Romesco/Salvitxada sauce)
  • 1 large or 2 small chicken breasts, grilled or baked and sliced
  • 2 ½ cups lettuce torn into bite sized pieces (I like baby spinach or romaine or butter lettuce)
  • 4 hearts of palm sliced
  • ½ cup black olives, Aragonese, Kalamata, or similar

Directions Green Salad with Romesco

  1. Grill or bake chicken (I rub it with salt and garlic powder before cooking)
  2. Wash and drain lettuce
  3. Tear lettuce into bite sized pieces
  4. slice hearts of palm into a few circular pieces, and lengthwise into half cylinder shapes
  5. arrange hearts of palm, and chicken on a bed of lettuce
  6. add a dollop of romesco
  7. garnish with a handful of olives (pit them if desired)

Ensalada verde con Romesco

Green Salad with Romesco, Hearts of Palm, Chicken and Olives – Chris Ciolli

Extra Tips

  • To make this dish vegan, skip the chicken, Romesco is made with ground almonds and hazelnuts, so should provide a reasonable amount of protein for non-meat-eaters, but hard-boiled eggs or some cheese could be added for vegetarians that eat dairy and egg products.
  • Substitute grilled shrimp, fish, or steak for the chicken.
  • Substitute artichokes or green or white asparagus for the hearts of palm
  • Make the dish gluten-free by substituting the regular bread crumbs in the Romesco recipe with gluten-free bread crumbs.

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