Courtesy Greg Vernick, chef/owner, Vernick Food & Drink, Philadelphia
At his namesake restaurant, James Beard Award winner Greg Vernick celebrates the diversity of the American larder with bold and innovative flavor combinations. This dish, which showcases a range of tastes, textures and temperatures, comes together in minutes with a little advance prep.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan and grill
- 1 small onion, thin-sliced
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 ripe peach or nectarine, halved and pitted
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1½ cups packed baby arugula
- ½ cup pitted Castelvetrano olives (or other green olives), coarse-chopped
- 2 ounces aged Gouda, crumbled
Coat medium, nonstick pan with olive oil and warm over medium-low heat. Add onion and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until medium-brown, about 30 minutes. Set aside. Onions may be prepared up to 3 days in advance and stored in refrigerator.
Slice chicken breasts in half horizontally. Using meat mallet or rolling pin, tenderize chicken between plastic wrap until very thin, at most ⁄8-inch. Salt each side lightly. Set aside.
Heat grill on high, and brush grates with olive oil. Place peach or nectarine halves on grill, cut-side down, and cook about 2 minutes. Let cool, then cut each half into 4 slices. Set aside.
Add chicken to grill. Grill for 1 minute on each side, or until cooked through. Set aside.
In large bowl, whisk vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil and honey. Add onions, peaches and arugula, and toss to coat.
Arrange chicken on 2 plates and top each with salad, olives and Gouda. Serves 2.
Masciarelli 2018 Villa Gemma (Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo); $20, 80 points. A pretty shade of ruby pink in the glass, this starts off with crushed cherry and herbs on the nose. The medium-bodied palate offers flavors of cherry skin and shattered stones that lead to an astringent veil of tannins on the finish. Vintus LLC. —Alexander Peartree