It’s #BCBlueberryWeek here on the blog and I am sharing a whole weeks’ worth of delicious and nutritious recipes featuring local BC blueberries. If you missed yesterday’s post that provides a fulsome overview of blueberries including when to pick them, how to store them and how to cook with them, make sure you go back to the post and give it a read- there are so many great tips and interesting facts on blueberries that you may not have known about!
Today I am sharing my first #BCBlueberryWeek recipe…and this might possibly be my most favourite recipe in this series. Today I am featuring a delicious Blueberry and Grilled Chicken Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette. Did you just start drooling? I sure did!
I’m not a big fan of salads for most of the year, but when it hot and steamy outside during the summer, salads are what I turn to the most. They’re refreshing, cooling, amazingly healthy and don’t require much effort to assemble. I particularly enjoy creating and experimenting with salad ingredients as I am always looking to switch things up and create something new because hey, I don’t want to eat the same salad over and over and over again! That’s probably what puts me off of them in the first place! But no matter what type of salad I am making, I focus on achieving a harmonious balance of the following textures and flavours: crunchy, salty, sweet, tart, spicy, creamy, savoury and overall refreshing (if you can count that as a texture).
Of course, this Blueberry and Grilled Chicken Salad has all of these desirable components! I have crunchy romaine lettuce and chopped almonds, salty and creamy goats cheese, sweet BC blueberries, a tart raspberry vinaigrette, spicy red onion and jalapeno peppers, and savoury grilled chicken breast. Overall, this salad is refreshing and is good for you as it is packed with protein, vitamins, healthy fats, and TONS of antioxidants from those blueberries!
While it is pretty easy throw together a blueberry and chicken salad (which through a quick Google search you can see has been done numerous times), I really got creative in making the salad dressing. I was completely inspired by a local jam (and now condiment) company call Salt Spring Island Kitchen Co. that is based on, you guessed it… Salt Spring Island! While they may produce jams in small batches, they are bringing BIG flavours to people all over BC, Alberta and even the Yukon!
I picked up a bunch of different jams a few weeks ago at my favourite grocery store in town, The Root Cellar, where Salt Spring Island Kitchen Co. was doing a pop-up in the store. Jams were retailing at a special price so I picked up not one, not two, but six of their jams. I know it seems like a lot of jam, but I like to give these jams away to my family back in Ontario as part of their Christmas presents. I got them these jams for the last two Christmases in a row and my family members have kept these jams on their Christmas list. Coming from a family of foodies, this is definitely a good sign that these jams are absolutely delicious!
Of all the jams that I bought, I did keep one jam for myself though- the Raspberry and Habanero Jam. This jam is sweet, sour and spicy, making it my favourite jam of the bunch! I particularly enjoy the addition of apple cider vinegar and lime to this jam. It’s uncommon for conventional jams to add this, but it just works with the sweet raspberries and spicy habanero peppers. That vinegary flavour sparked my idea to make it into a salad dressing!
I simply added two tablespoons of the Raspberry Habanero Jam to a bowl, along with some olive oil, a bit more apple cider vinegar (for good measure), a dash of water, and some salt and pepper! And just like that, my new favourite salad dressing was born, and dang does it ever work with the grilled chicken, goats cheese, a few extra slices of spicy jalapeno peppers and of course…blueberries! I highly recommend picking up a jar of this delicious jam…or any other sweet or savoury jams from Salt Spring Island Kitchen Co. !
So that is all for today! Stay tuned this week for lots more BC Blueberries recipes and let me know if you will be making this fantastic Blueberry & Grilled Chicken Salad this blueberry season
Find the full recipe for this Blueberry & Grilled Chicken Salad here!