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 recpe, 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.
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.
- To grill chicken you will need a gas grill or a grill pan
- For the dressing you need a blender.
Buy fresh blueberries for the vinaigrette and to add to the salad. If berries are out of season, thaw frozen blueberries for the dressing and skip the fresh ones to add to the salad.
For the chicken, remove the chicken breasts from the refrigerator about an hour before you start to get the chill off.
For the vinegar, use either Balsamic and a little honey or a blueberry vinegar. It's delicious and a nice add to your pantry if you love flavored vinegars.
if you don't want to grill chicken, use leftover roasted chicken or rotisserie chicken. It's still delicious.
Instead of roasting your own beets, buy packaged steamed beets in the refrigerated produce section. Both Traders Joes and Melissa's Produce sells them.
Pounding Chicken Breasts
To quickly and easily grill perfect chicken breasts in just a few minutes, first gently pound them to an even thickness. Place boneless, skinless breasts (without the tender) in a heavy zip bag, then pound gently, mostly on the thicker end. Use a meat pounder or the flat side of a small, heavy fry pan.
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.
For the dressing, add fresh blueberries or thawed frozen blueberries, blueberry balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a little shallot. Puree until smooth, then strain out leftover tiny bits through a fine small sieve.
The dressing 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.
Season and Grill Chicken
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 about 4 minutes minutes, then move chicken to the 2:00 position for another 3-4 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 3-4 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 160º to be safe. They will finish to the perfect 165°F off the grill.
For the salad, chop into cubes or slice.
Pile fresh crisp salad greens into a large wide bowl or onto a dinner sized plate. Top with the blueberries, beets, chicken and avocado. Serve the dressing on the side at the table.
For Whole30, swap date paste for honey or try it without. Taste the dressing first.
Grilled Chicken Salad with Blueberry Balsamic Dressing
- 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.