A spruced up caprese salad made with arugula, radicchio, mozzarella, tomatoes, and crispy chicken cutlets breaded with almond meal and Parmesan!
This post is sponsored by Tuttorosso Tomatoes
I switch up the ingredients in my salads all the time—adding roasted butternut squash in fall or fresh berries in summer—but there are certain staples that I find it almost impossible to live without once they go out of season. One of those staples is tomatoes.
Tomatoes are part of so many salads I love—like a good caprese. They add richness, sweetness, and a little acidity, too. I’m always disappointed when I buy them after summer’s over—when I’m left with some mushy, flavorless thing.
The fix is to use canned whole, peeled plum tomatoes and rinse, drain, and slice them. I have to admit, it wasn’t my bright idea, but one I borrowed from the family behind my favorite tomato brand, Tuttorosso Tomatoes. Back in September, I flew to Indiana to visit the farms where Tuttorosso Tomatoes are grown and the facilities where they’re canned. I got a behind-the-scenes peek at the entire harvest-to-can process and had such a great time. I already knew I loved these tomatoes because the flavor is unmatched, but it was especially nice to see how that impeccable quality and flavor is achieved in the fields and factory. I have so much respect for this company and I love that they hold such high standards for the tomatoes I cook with week after week.
Here’s more about that tip: use Tuttorosso canned tomatoes, which are picked and packed at the peak of ripeness, when fresh tomatoes are out of season—even in salads. Diced tomatoes would work and so do whole, peeled plum tomatoes. The only thing you need to do is rinse them well to remove some of the salt present from the canning. Once you drain and dry the tomatoes, slice them, and use them however you want. They’re sweet, juicy, and even just a few slices go a long way in boosting flavor in a fall or winter salad.
In this entree-quality, spruced-up version of a caprese salad with parmesan crusted chicken, the tomato part of the equation is thanks to a can of Tuttorosso Whole Peeled Plum Tomatoes. These have such a naturally sweet flavor—none of that acidic, bitter taste that many other brands have—and because of that fact, you can just eat them straight out of the can after a good rinse.
For the rest of the salad, I used arugula, radicchio, fresh basil, diced mozzarella cheese—not fresh mozzarella, but a sturdier block of low-moisture mozzarella. Feel free to use whichever you prefer. I liked the firmness of the low-moisture mozzarella, but both kinds would work!
For the parmesan crusted chicken cutlets, I made a breading of almond meal, Parmesan cheese, dried basil, and garlic powder. My choice to use almond meal (simply ground-up almonds and sold as either “almond meal” or “almond flour”) was born out of desperation since I was out of bread crumbs, but I’m happy I went with them. Nutritionally, almond meal is higher in fiber and protein than traditional bread crumbs and lower in simple carbohydrates. I think I’ll be using them much more often now that I know they work so well.
Consider other ways of using the tomatoes, like making a salsa or marinating the tomatoes with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and herbs for even more flavor. This is the way to get your tomato fix!
Parmesan Crusted Chicken Caprese Salad
- 28 ounce can Tuttorosso Whole Peeled Plum Tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons almond meal also known as almond flour
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound thin sliced chicken breast cutlets
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 ounces part skim low moisture mozzarella diced into ¼-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 small head radicchio chopped
- 2 5- ounce bags arugula
- ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves roughly chopped
- Drain the tomatoes and place in a colander; rinse well. Pat dry with paper towels. Chop the tomatoes into ½-inch pieces and lay them out on a plate lined with a few sheets of towels to allow any juices to drain while you prepare the rest of the salad.
- In a shallow bowl or plate, use a fork to combine the almond meal, Parmesan, basil, and garlic powder.
- Season the chicken breast cutlets with salt and pepper on both sides. Dredge them in the almond meal mixture, pressing and flipping to coat both sides.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium high heat. Add half of the chicken breast cutlets and cook until golden brown on both sides, 3 minutes per side. Transfer the cutlets to a cutting board. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil; swirl to coat the skillet; repeat the cooking process with the remaining half of the chicken cutlets. Transfer the chicken to the cutting board and let cool slightly before chopping.
- In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the balsamic vinegar with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the arugula, radicchio, basil, and toss gently to coat in the dressing. Add the tomatoes (be sure they're dry) and toss once more. Divide the salad among 4 plates and top each evenly with ¼ of the mozzarella and chicken. Serve.