A good salad must have great dressing. What’s a Caesar without the Caesar dressing or a classic steakhouse wedge without the creamy blue? For my latest grilled chicken salad, it’s all about a creamy, purple, blueberry balsamic dressing. Don't want to grill chicken? Use leftover roast or rotisserie to make this chicken salad with blueberry Balsamic Dressing.
Grilled Chicken Salad with Blueberry Balsamic Dressing
Crisp greens, grilled chicken breast, fresh blueberries, buttery avocado, roasted beets and a sprinkle of chopped walnuts plus my new blueberry balsamic dressing. This is a terrific summer main course salad. Packed with color and nutrition, I hope you enjoy it.
Beautiful Blueberry Balsamic Dressing
Into a blender went fresh summer blueberries, blueberry balsamic vinegar (more on that later), olive oil and a little shallot. Puree until smooth, then strain out leftover tiny bits through a fine small sieve. The result was amazing. Brilliant purple, creamy and delicious. You could drink the dressing. But since you can’t really do that, I created this new salad to go with it.
Two Ways to Make Blueberry Balsamic Dressing
I made the dressing two ways. First, with an amazing blueberry balsamic vinegar, and second with standard Balsamic vinegar plus a little honey. You can make it both ways, but do yourself a favor. Treat yourself and order some of the blueberry balsamic vinegar. It's so tasty.
Try a few small bottles, like the 100 – 200 ml sizes. I have apple, date, black forest raspberry, calamansi (an incredible Philippine citrus that smells like 7-Up) and a ginger-grape-lemon balsamic. But the star of this post is the gorgeous purple blueberry balsamic.
Are they cheap versus the stuff at the grocery store? No. Are they worth every penny? Yes. Is filet mignon more expensive than ground beef? Of course. You get it. The blueberry is the most expensive (and seasonal), so try a small bottle. It will last a long time in your pantry.
How to Grill Chicken Breasts for Salad
To quickly and easily grill perfect chicken breasts in about 7 minutes, first pound them to an even thickness. Use a meat pounder or the flat side of a small, heavy fry pan.
Place boneless, skinless breasts (without the tender) in a heavy zip bag, then pound gently. The goal is to get the thick end more like the thin end. You don’t want to destroy the chicken flesh, just even it out.
Sprinkle chicken with salt, pepper and granulated garlic, then drizzle with olive oil. Place chicken breasts (smooth side down to start) on clean grill grates with one end placed at 10:00. Grill for two minutes. then move chicken t0 the 2:00 position for two more minutes. This 10:00 to 2:00 technique give you perfect grill marks.
After that, turn the chicken breasts and cook for approximately another 3 minutes or until chicken is firm when touched. Although it is hard to measure thin cuts of chicken accurately with a digital thermometer, chicken should reach 165º to be safe.
Remove from grill and allow to stand for a few minutes. For the salad, chop into cubes or slice.
- Grill or grill pan
Blueberry Vinaigrette (½ cup)
- ¼ cup blueberries
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar blueberry balsamic or regular
- 2 teaspoons honey if using regular balsamic
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped shallot optional
- 2 pinches sea salt
- 2 pinches ground black pepper
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 6-8 ounces crisp clean salad greens
- 1 whole avocado skinned and diced
- ¾ cup fresh blueberries
- ¾ cup diced roasted beets optional
- Place oil, blueberries, vinegar, honey, and shallot into blender and puree until smooth. Pour through a small fine strainer to get rid of small bits of blueberry skin. Season with pinches of salt and pepper.
- Place chicken breast in a heavy zip bag and seal out air. Pound thick end flatter using the smooth side of a meat mallet, a meat pounder or the flat side of a frying pan. Don’t hit it so hard that you destroy the chicken. Use gentle but firm, even pound until the thicker end is flatter like the shin end. Remove from the bag and sprinkle wit salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Drizzle with oil.
- Heat a grill to hot, scrape grates clean and oil to prevent sticking. Alternatively use a grill pan indoors. Place the smooth side of the chicken breast down first with one end facing 10:00. Grill for approximately two minutes. Then move the end to facing 2:00. and grill for two more minutes. This will give you nice grill marks. Turn the chicken and grill for approximately another 3 minutes or until chicken is firm to the touch (165º). Remove chicken and allow to stand for a few minutes. Slice or dice into cubes for the salad.
- Place salad greens in two bowls or plates and divide the goodies between the two. Serve dressing on the side, a few tablespoons per person. Extra keeps well covered and refrigerated.