RECIPE | Arugula + Pesto Chicken Salad with Provolone Crostini

one of my favorite things to eat for lunch is a simple and delicious salad. it's easy to put together, filling, and refreshes me for an afternoon of work. i go through phases of the type of salads that i make, usually rotating between this one, a chicken caesar salad, and caprese salad. what i love about this one is the richness of the flavors and how darn good they taste together. 
 the ingredients to make one lunch-sized salad are as follows:
- a heaping handful of arugula (or other green)
- 1 roma tomato, chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded pesto chicken
(to make the shredded pesto chicken, bake boneless skinless chicken breasts in a 400º oven for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through. if you have a mixer, you can place the breasts into your mixer and start slowly to shred. if not, shredding with two forks works just as well! once the chicken is all shredded, toss with your desired amount of pesto - either store-bought or homemade)

for the dressing:
- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
- 1/2 Tablespoon of fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- pinch of sea salt

for the crostini:
- a couple slices of the demi loaf
- about a tablespoon of olive oil
- a few pinches of sea salt
to make the dressing, i combine the ingredients into a tiny tupperware container that i use to shake the dressing well, to incorporate the oil and lemon juice together. i love the bite of the lemon juice added with the smoothness of the oil. you can play around with the proportions to satisfy your preferences.
the crostini is what puts this salad over the top, at least for this bread-lover. to make it, i cut a few slices of the demi loaf, about 1/2 thick. 
i brush olive oil on both sides of the slices and sprinkle with sea salt. 
with the oven set to broil, i line a baking sheet with foil and pop the slices of bread in, just under the broiler. i let the bread toast* on one side, and then flip over to toast on the other. when both sides are toasted, i lay a piece of thin-sliced provolone cheese on the top and let it broil until bubbly and totally melted. remove from oven and let cool

*keep a careful eye on the bread, as it can toast very quickly.

while the crostini is cooling, assemble your salad. i lay down a heaping handful of arugula in a bowl and pour the simple dressing over top. i then add the chopped roma tomatoes and about 1/2 cup of the chicken. if you want an extra crunch in your salad, you can chop up the crostini and mix it in with you salad. 

that's it! simple, easy, and super tasty. 

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