Blackberry Spinach Salad with Lemon Thyme Chicken & Blackberry Vinaigrette

For three weeks now, I’ve been crazy over local blackberries! They are so tasty on their own, I rarely have enough left to make something fun! So, this week I bought two pints instead of one.  Oh the possibilities!  Fruit crisp, muffins, pie… oh my!

I love summer berries as dessert, but I actually prefer to keep it simple.  Think smoothies, berries + yogurt + drizzle of honey = YUM!  I want the star of the show to be fresh fruit.  I also picked up some first of the season peaches at the market this week, so I certainly see smoothies in my near future! This weekend though, these HUGE blackberries went into a main entrée summer salad.

Step One: Lemon Thyme Chicken
If you are in a hurry and already have leftover chicken on hand, use it! But I really love my lemon thyme herb pot; I think it has a nice light summer flavor.

Season chicken breasts to taste with the following:

Salt and Freshly ground pepper
Paprika (for color!)
Fresh Lemon Thyme
Freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used 1/2 a lemon for 3 breasts)

Bake at 325* F until juices run clear.  I would have loved to grill these, but, we haven’t invested in a grill yet.  If you try it be sure to let me know how it is!  I actually over cooked our chicken a little because I forgot about it.  Set a timer if you need to.

Step Two: Blackberry Vinaigrette

Okay, so this step is a bit messy, and not for those of you in a hurry.  But – it sure was worth it!

Ingredients: (these are estimates, I didn’t actually measure anything, so go by taste!)

1 Pint Blackberries
1/4 cup red onion
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp. honey
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar ( I also used Pear infused Vinegar)
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Using a food processor, puree pint of blackberries.
  2. Here’s where it gets messy, using a mesh sieve (or piece of nylon) strain the blackberry juice from the pulp and seeds.  Take your time and wear an apron.  Set juice aside.
  3. Rinse out food processor.  Pulse red onions garlic, honey and vinegar.  Add blackberry juice and olive oil, process.
  4. Transfer to serving container.  A jelly jar works fine.
Step Three: Assemble
Here is where it all comes together.  The flavor combination is salty, fresh, sweet, and bright.  The texture is crunchy from walnuts, creamy from feta, and juicy from blackberries.
Ingredients:
Organic Baby Spinach
Sliced Lemon Thyme Chicken
Toasted Walnuts
Crumbled Feta Cheese
Fresh Blackberries
Blackberry Vinaigrette
QUESTION: How do you include fresh berries into your summer meals?
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One thought on “Blackberry Spinach Salad with Lemon Thyme Chicken & Blackberry Vinaigrette

  1. Amazing…this looks delicious and your photos are excellent….I see an artist cook and photographer!! Thanks for sharing this Michelle..looks like a salad to completely enjoy!!

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