Cucumber, Apple and Feta Salad with Cilantro-Lime Grilled Chicken

Cucumber, Apple & Feta Salad
If you’re like me, salads are most appealing this time of year. Besides being appropriately light for summer, they are a great way to incorporate and celebrate all of the lovely produce coming to the markets right now. And without the mask of heavy sauces and other tricks, the quality of each ingredient is critical in a salad.

This is a fun time to play with your food — toss uncommon ingredient pairings together and see how they work together. That’s what I did for this salad and it worked beautifully. It turned out so summery fresh and light, but also well-balanced with a touch of sweetness, acid and heat.

And hang on to this chicken recipe as a standalone entrée, it’s one of my go-to recipes for a quick protein.

Difficulty level: Easy
Special techniques: Grilling (although can roast chicken, if needed)
Equipment needed: vegetable peeler, large zippered bag


For the chicken*

  • 2 chicken breasts, pounded thin (or use cutlets), and trimmed of fat
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


For the salad

  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled
  • 1/4  jalapeño, chopped**
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 c. toasted walnut pieces
  • 1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese (optional)



  1. Place the chicken and rest of marinade ingredients in a large zippered bag. Seal and massage bag to mix ingredients and coat chicken. Refrigerate bag and allow chicken to marinate for 1-2 hours.
  2. After marinating, preheat the grill to 450’ and prepare the remainder of the salad. Combine the salt and lime juice and add to a medium bowl.
  3. Using a vegetable peeler, peel strips of the apple (stopping at the seeds) and toss in the  lime juice/salt mixture
  4. Repeat with the cucumber, again stopping at the seeds so they are not incorporated in the salad. Add to the bowl and combine.
  5. Add jalapeño, cilantro, walnut and feta and toss to combine.
  6. Remove chicken from marinade and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for about 4 minutes per side or until chicken is done (will vary depending on thickness).

Servings: 2

DSC_0432Recipe notes: 

*You can also roast chicken if you don’t have access to a grill.

**For less heat from the jalapeño, remove most of the seeds and ribs. The more you leave in, the hotter the end result.