Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mosaic Monday ~Hydrangeas and Blackberries

I know I've been talking about it for what seems like weeks, but the blackberries are REALLY ready now :-) 8 cups picked in about 15 minutes! I love it. So I do have plans to make some of the expected jelly and pies...can't do without those! But I've also been looking for some other things to do with my abundance. I was searching salads and when I hit on this Blackberry Chicken Salad I knew I had to try it.

This is apparently the signature salad at an Atlanta restaurant called Sycamore Grill. I have never been there, but I guarantee you that if I ever find myself there I"ll be ordering this salad.

This recipe is really three in one and you could make only one or all three and not go wrong, but I'd suggest at least making the chicken salad part...I almost stopped there when I tasted how good it was. But if you have time go for all three. The dressing for the greens is wonderful and I have plenty left over for future salads. And the nuts will be great later on some ice cream.

Blackberry Chicken Salad
From Sycamore Grill, Atlanta
Found HERE at

For the caramelized walnuts:
1 pound (about 4 cups) walnut pieces (I used pecans because I'm a pecan kinda girl)
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt

For the chicken salad:
2 pounds skinless and boneless chicken tenderloins
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 cups diced celery
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 (12-ounce) bag frozen
blackberries, thawed (fresh works too!)
Salt and pepper

For the blackberry vinaigrette:
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
1 teaspoon fresh minced shallots
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup salad oil
8 cups mixed greens

To make the caramelized nuts: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a saucepan, combine nuts, cinnamon, sugar and salt and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain the liquid from the nuts and pat dry. Place nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until crunchy, tossing after 10 minutes for even cooking.

To make the chicken: In a saucepan, poach chicken until just cooked through. Cool and dice. Mix with green onions and celery. In a separate bowl, combine mayonnaise, honey and mustard. Add the blackberries. Gently add blackberry mayonnaise to chicken, just until moistened. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To make the vinaigrette: In a small saucepan, bring wine, sugar, mustard, garlic and shallots to a boil. Reduce heat to medium for 5 minutes, or until reduced. Transfer mixture to a blender and add vinegar, blackberries, honey and salt and pulse to combine. Slowly add the oil, while the blender is running, to emulsify.
Toss mixed greens with enough vinaigrette to moisten. Top with a scoop of chicken salad and sprinkle with caramelized nuts. I halved the recipe and it made 2 very large main entree salads or 4 smaller side salads.

For my Mosaic Monday contribution I did this Lacecap Hydrangea mosaic showing it from bud to bloom. I'm always amazed at the end product :-) Check out all of the other great mosaics HERE at Little Red House.


Jeri ~ said...

The salad looks DELICIOUS - and I love your mosaic...hydrangeas are my favorite!!!

Bobbi said...

Hi, thank you so much for the recipes! Looks yummmmmy! Hope you have a wonderful new week!

Dishesdone said...

Suzy, that salad looks fantastic! I'll be making it for sure!

Cool mosaic! I really love hydrangea's, I need to plant one!

Ingmarie We said...

Delicious food-photos! And a lovely hydrangea-mosiac. I am very fond of them, they are are wonderful.

Cathy said...

OMgosh, that looks delicious! I love all the flavors in the vinaigrette.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a beautiful and delicious-looking recipe, Suzy! You are so lucky to have such an abundant blackberry crop and I envy the variety of hydrangeas that you can grow there too. Sigh.

RainGardener said...

That salad looks yummy and while the combination of blackberries and chicken sounds strange it also sounds like it would be really good. Might have to try that one.
Love your mosaic. I did a bunch of pics of my blue lacecap in different stages too and never ran it. Might be a good one to put on this winter when I'm not as busy and can post a bit more.

Katerina said...

I love the ingredients you used in this salad. I will bookmark this although I am not sure I can find blackberries in Greece. Perhaps I can substitute with something else. As always I love your flowers.

Vee said...

Gotta go back and find the mosaic because my view is so full of that incredible looking salad...yowzer!

Kathleen said...

Looks good, Suzy!
Hydrangeas winding down here! Just loeve them!

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Our blackberries are not ready yet. But, I'd like to try to fix this salad when their time comes. It looks delicious! Thank you!

Evelyn said...

Interesting recipe. Sounds nice and light. I am not much of a salad person, but I do like having interesting fruits in mine.

cappy and pegody said...

It's funny how things have different growing cycles depending on where ya at. When I was a kid hydrangeas were known as 'graduation flowers', on acounta thats when they bloomed. In May. A fuzzy childhood memory tells me that they were either pink or blue and if ya put something in the ground like brick pieces or rusty nails or something they would change from one color to the other. Thats the way I remember it and like Buffet says its probally "a semi-true story" :-)

Magnolia Memories08 Seeing With The Heart said...

Suzy oh my gosh this is the prettiest salad that I have ever seen..It is tooooooo pretty to eat.The picture sure has made me hungry this morning. I love your blog...

Marsha said...

The salad looks wonderful, I love everything you put into it! I am a pecan kind of girl as well :)

Autumn Belle said...

The food here looks so delicious and inviting. I love your mosaic of hydrangeas at different stages of bloom.

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