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 EveningEdge.com
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.