Cherry-Almond-Crunch Chicken and Pasta Salad for #HotSummerEats

#HotSummerEats marks the third event that I have participated in with Camilla from Cooking Adventures.   I think with every event, the product sponsors are more and more generous.  (For the other events that Camilla organized, see #10DaysofTailgate and #TripleSBites.)

I have previously highlighted the great gifts from Garden Gourmet and Not Ketchup.   Today the focus is on Casabella‘s cherry pitter and one of the many great products from The Sauceology Groupspecifically Pirate Jonny’s Guava Girl.  But you know, I had to throw in a bit more Gourmet Garden.  (For more praise for Gourmet Garden, please refer to all of my #HotSummerEats posts thus far.)

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The cherry pitter is genius.   I think kids would love to help out and use this handy little gadget.  I know I will be using it a lot this summer to pit cherries for sangria!

I have raved about Gourmet Garden products throughout #HotSummerEats.   I am still raving here.

Finally, I don’t know what to say about Pirate Jonny’s Guava Girl EXCEPT it is stupendous.   (We actually grilled some pork chops last night with Caribeque’s Calypso Kick spice. Spice and kick are the key words here.   The chops were super delicious but spicy-hot—in a good way.  The Guava Girl was a great accompaniment to mellow out the heat.)

Back to the recipe for the day.   I used the cherry pitter to obviously pit my cherries for this unusual but delicious salad.   Gourmet Garden‘s basil paste went in and then a grilled chicken breast basted with Pirate Jonny’s Guava Girl went on top.

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Cherry Almond Crunch Chicken and Pasta Salad
This recipe is reminiscent of one in Cooking Light a couple of years ago.  I couldn’t find the magazine or the recipe online.  

1 lb. boneless chicken breast
salt and pepper
2-3 T. Pirate Jonny’s Guava Girl
2 c. pasta (Your choice as to type.)
1 T. olive oil
1 T. Gourmet Garden basil paste
1 c.  fresh cherries, pitted and halved
1/4 c. crumbled feta
1/4 c. thinly sliced toasted almonds

Rinse and dry the chicken thoroughly. Pound to an even thickness of about ½ inch.   Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the grill to hot or high heat.

Place the chicken breasts on the hot grill, and  cook undisturbed until char marks are made (about 4 minutes). Flip the chicken, and glaze with Pirate Jonny’s Guava Girl.  Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the chicken reads 155 degrees F, about 3 more minutes. (Before removing from grill, flip one more time and glaze the other side of the chicken.)  When temperature is reached and both sides are glazed, remove from grill to a platter, tent with foil, and let rest for 15 minutes.)

Cook pasta according to directions and rinse under cold water.   Drain well.

Toss together all ingredients (but chicken).

Arrange salad on plates and top with sliced chicken breasts.  (Or, grilled chicken can be cubed and tossed with the salad.)

This recipe combines some usually non-partnered items:  pasta, cherries and basil.  Let me tell you, it works.  And, it’s even better the second day.   This recipe makes two large entree portions or four smaller sides.

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Again, I can’t rave enough about these products.  The cherry pitter was awesome!   I found some beautiful Rainier cherries at the market for this salad.  (As he was eating the salad, The Hubs commented how sweet the cherry tomatoes were in the salad.   🙂   I had to set him straight.  “They’re cherries, not tomatoes.”   He did say he felt a little ridiculous after I pointed that out to him.)


Besides the Guava Girl pictured above,  I received a number of other delicious spices and sauces from The Sauceology Group.  These included Out of the Weeds Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette, Intensity Academy’s Garlic Goodness hot sauce, and Caribeque Spicy Calypso Kick seasoning.  Stay tuned for I am sure that I will utilize these products after #HotSummerEats has officially ended.

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To win some of these great products, make sure you enter the GIVEAWAY.  You only have today and tomorrow to enter.

Disclaimer – Thank you to #HotSummerEats sponsors BenBella Vegan, Caribeque, Casabella, Gourmet Garden, Intensity Academy, Not Ketchup, Out of the Weeds. Pirate Jonny’s, Quirk Books, Spicely Organics, T.Lish, and Voodoo Chef for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for#HotSummerEats without additional compensation.All opinions are my own.



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