BLACKBERRY BALSAMIC GRILLED CHICKEN SALAD

It's an absolutely gorgeous summer day today. The sun is shining bright, it's not too hot, and everyone is out and about enjoying the very last bits of summer. So of course we wanted our lunch to represent this gorgeous summer day as well!

Blackberries are almost done in their peak season, so this recipe is the perfect way to enjoy this dark-hued berry while it's at its freshest. What makes blackberries so special, anyway? Here's a few nutritional benefits from adding them to your daily diet:

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Brain Food - Blackberries have a high levels of antioxidants, which help improve and maintain brain function. they also are a great source of manganese, and this helps to ensure your synapses firing properly within your brain. In other words, enjoying some blackberries each day can improve your overall brain function, especially short term memory! 

Inflammation Fighting - As we've mentioned before, inflammation is a key cause of many diseases. Blackberries naturally cause a reduction in inflammation and allow your body’s processes to happen as they should, rather than on overdrive. In addition, blackberries also help curb free radical damage that is caused by oxidative stress within your body

Skin Health - Through antioxidant activity, blackberries (especially in extract form) generally protects the skin from UVB damage. They also contain strong levels of vitamin C, which is essentially in protecting and strengthening our skin. 

This salad will definitely have you feeling fresh and bright, just like this summer day. Enjoy it for lunch or for dinner - it's filling yet light and absolutely packed with amazing flavor. And if you crave this salad later on in the year, you can switch out the blackberries for other berries to have a whole new flavor palette. 

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Ingredients

For the blackberry dressing - 

1/2 cup blackberries

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. honey

2 tsp. dijon mustard

1 tsp. tamari (or soy sauce)

1 large clove garlic, minced

S+P, to taste

For fried goat cheese - 

8 ounces goat cheese, sliced into 1/4 inch thick discs

1/4 cup flour

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

For the salad - 

1 package chicken breasts (about 1/2 pound)

6 cups lettuce, chopped

1 cup blackberries, fresh

1 avocado, sliced

1/4 cup red onion, sliced

1/4 walnuts (or pistachios or almonds work perfect too!)

 

Instructions

  1. Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing, lightly smashing the blackberries. Marinate the chicken in HALF of the dressing for 30 minutes, then flip the chicken and marinate another 30 minutes. 
  2. While the chicken is marinating, prepare the goat cheese to be fried. 
  3. Slice the goat cheese. If it crumbles, simply form a sphere using your hands, lightly pressing into the cheese so it doesn't fall apart. 
  4. Dredge the goat cheese slices in the flour and coat in egg. Toss with breadcrumbs and fry in oil over medium heat, until lightly golden brown. We recommend frying just one or two slices at a time, since they only take a few second to brown on each side. Set aside on paper towels to drain any excess oil.
  5. Once chicken has marinated, grill over medium-high heat until cooked and slightly charred (about 5 minutes each side). Set aside to rest/cool, then slice.
  6. Assemble your salad! Add lettuce to a bowl, then top with chicken, sliced onion and avocado. Drizzle with dressing and add a few pieces of goat cheese. Sprinkle the nuts and blackberries on top and ENJOY!

Recipe via Closet Cooking