I stepped into the market a few days ago and all I smelled was basil! There were bunches of it stacked high and it looked so fresh and lovely. I bought a bunch and looked for other fresh ingredients to go with it. I found some beautiful cherry tomatoes and decided to make a relish to go with some grilled chicken. You can’t have a relish without onions, so I bought some of those too and cooked this fantastically fresh, flavorful dish! I served it to my parents and aunt, who usually stay in the Indian-Thai-Chinese realm of food, and they could not stop raving about how simple and tasty this was!Basil is fabulous because it has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, and helps protect cells from oxidative (free-radical) damage. Tomatoes have loads of lycopene, which in studies has shown to protect against free radicals and certain cancers. Tomatoes also have a good amount of potassium, vitamin B6, and folate. Onions, playing their part, are a good source of sulfur-containing nutrients, flavonoids and polyphenols, which also protect against free-radical damage. This dish is chock full of healthy ingredients, so enjoy!
Makes 4 servings (considering 6 oz serving of chicken each)
IngredientsFor the chicken1.5 lb boneless, skinless, thin-sliced chicken, preferably organic1 tbsp balsamic vinegar½ tsp dried oregano½ tsp dried basil½ tsp salt½ tsp pepper
For the relishOlive oil1 large yellow onion, sliced2 cloves garlic, chopped¼ tsp sugar¼ tsp salt½ tsp pepper1 tbsp balsamic vinegar1 pint cherry tomatoes, halvedCrushed red pepper flakes, per your taste (optional)1½ cup basil, julienned
Combine all the ingredients for the chicken in a large bowl and set in fridge to marinate for a few minutes. Meanwhile, heat up a sauté pan and drizzle olive oil in it. When oil is hot, add the chicken in batches, cooking until browned and cooked through on the inside. Set cooked chicken aside and cover with foil.To prepare relish, heat another sauté pan, and drizzle in some olive oil. When oil is hot, add onions and stir once to evenly distribute oil. Allow onions to cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown and caramelize. You will get browned spots on the pan, just scrape those in with the onions. Caramelization should take about 10 minutes, and you want the onions to be very soft and browned. Add sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic, and continue to cook onions for a few more minutes. Once they have caramelized, add the balsamic vinegar, and stir for a minute. Add cherry tomatoes, and cook for about 7-8 more minutes until they are softened and slightly caramelized themselves. Off the heat and add crushed red pepper flakes, if desired, and the basil. Stir together. Adjust seasonings if needed.To serve, plate the chicken, and heap relish over it. The relish will have a fresh, sweet-tart flavor and will pair beautifully with the chicken.