Summer Berry Salad

Sweet, Tart Berries pair with a Poppy Seed Vinaigrette to create an inviting summer salad on a hot afternoon

Here in Phoenix, it’s been reaching nearly 120 degrees!   When opening your front door feels like being blasted with a torch, I’m not in the mood to eat anything but ice cream, popsicles, and yummy salads like this one–Summer Berry Salad with Poppy Seed Vinaigrette.  It’s sweet, tangy, and most importantly, cold!  Oh, and since it’s fairly low-calorie, it’ll help you get that beach bod you’ve been dreaming of.  Loaded with antioxidants and essential vitamins, you can feel good about enjoying this salad.  This is how to make it:

Start by mixing up the special Poppy Seed Vinaigrette.  I make my dressings in a food processor so that my ingredients are really well mixed.  Mix half a cup of apple cider vinegar with one cup extra virgin olive oil.  Add half a cup of honey.  Next, add your seasonings:  a pinch of salt, one tablespoon poppy seeds, and two teaspoons plain yellow mustard. The mustard and sweet honey combination pair perfectly with the tart berries.   Finally, chop an onion into fourths.  Remove the root and outer layers.  Toss into the dressing mixture and pulse until the onion is almost pureed.  That’s it for your dressing!  The rest is easy-peasy.

Next, you’ll need to marinate the chicken.  Pierce the chicken all over with a fork.  This will let your chicken soak up all of the flavors of the dressing in a short amount of time.  Pour about one third of the vinaigrette over your chicken.  Let your chicken marinate for about 30 minutes in the fridge.

Now, it’s time to chop your veggies and fruit.  For my salad, I used romaine lettuce and purple cabbage as my base, but you could pretty much use whatever greens suit your palette.  I’m sure spinach would be a yummy choice.  Next, I added some thinly sliced cucumbers.  The cucumbers really complement the berries in this salad, and they have a unique cooling property.  Slice up your strawberries and layer them on top.  Toss on some blueberries.  I used frozen blueberries because I love the sweet tartness that freezing give them.  And here is the start of a great salad:

Summer Berry Salad

Now, if you’re going to even bother attempting to feed this to the men in your life, it will definitely need some protein.  Here’s where the chicken comes into play.  Toss your marinated chicken on the grill.  It’s done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees (doesn’t take long if you’re grilling outside in Phoenix!)  Once it’s finished cooking, let it rest before slicing it into thin slices.  You don’t want to lose all of the delicious juices by slicing it as soon as it comes off the grill.  Place your chicken on top of all those beautiful fruits and veggies, and finally, drizzle your Poppy Seed Vinaigrette over all that good stuff underneath.

Summer Berry Salad

Once you’ve assembled your salads, pop them in the fridge for a few minutes so that everything can get all nice and chilly.  Or, if you can’t resist it, go ahead and dig right in to this inviting berry salad.  Enjoy!

Printable Summer Berry Salad Recipe

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