This salad is dressed with a vinaigrette generously flavored with sherry vinegar. It's the type of salad that gets better if you let it sit overnight, so it's the perfect side dish to prepare the night before a picnic. I've used my favorite canned tomatoes here, as tomatoes aren't in season yet as I'm developing this recipe. However, if you had two really great fresh plum tomatoes (or 1 large vine tomato), you could substitute that for the canned tomatoes.
Salad & Gazpacho Vinaigrette
canned plum tomatoes (like San Marzano) plus 2 tablespoons tomato juice from their can
extra virgin olive oil
green onions, thinly sliced
garlic cloves, minced
green and/or red bell peppers, diced
small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (reserve seeds and add to salad if you would like a spicier dish)
English cucumber, diced
teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
boneless, skinless chicken breasts
slices hardwood smoked bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
Make Gazpacho Vinaigrette: In food processor or blender, pulse tomatoes, tomato juice, vinegar and Worcestershire until smooth. With food processor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil and blend until mixture is emulsified.
In large bowl, toss onions, garlic, bell peppers, jalapeno, cucumber, salt, pepper and Gazpacho Vinaigrette until combined. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or for best flavor, overnight.
Meanwhile, prepare grill for direct grilling over medium heat. Place chicken on hot grill rack and cook 10 to 12 minutes or until chicken loses its pink color throughout and reaches an internal temperature of 165°. Remove chicken from grill and let stand 5 minutes, then dice chicken and stir into salad.
In large skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon 6 to 8 minutes or until crisp. With slotted spoon, transfer bacon to small bowl. Reserve bacon drippings in pan. Reduce heat to medium-low; add onion and cook 25 to 30 minutes or until deeply caramelized. Stir in vinegar and bacon; cook 1 minute. Let mixture cool 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°. Place 2 sheets phyllo on work surface; brush with a little bit of butter. Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets, layering 2 sheets at a time. Leaving a 1-inch border, spread onion mixture evenly over phyllo. Starting at long end of phyllo, roll up phyllo with filling.
Place strudel, seam side down, on rimmed baking sheet; brush with remaining butter. Using a serrated bread knife, cut diagonally slits on top of strudel. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 10 minutes; cut strudel diagonally into thin slices and serve alongside salad.