I have a problem. I’m obsessed with pick-your-own-fruit orchards. First, I picked tart cherries in northern Michigan last month, and that was all fine and dandy and I limited myself to about six or seven pounds of cherries. Then, while visiting family in western New York last week, my aunt asked if I wanted to tag along with her to the blueberry fields, and I figured heck, why not? And so I picked seven pounds of blueberries.
Later that same day, when there was a lull in activity, I decided to drive out to a cherry orchard because I was a little concerned that I only had maybe three pounds of tart cherries left in the freezer (in addition to two pounds of sweet cherries purchased previously during a grocery store sale), and that was not going to last but for another pie or two. I ended up picking an additional ten pounds of tart cherries…and gathered a few pounds of sweet cherries as well. Just for good measure, you know? So between the hojillion pounds of cherries and half a gazillion pounds of blueberries currently residing in my freezer, there’s room left for approximately, er, nothing.
Usually, I like to freeze a portion of what I bake, like muffins, cupcakes, or mini loaf cakes, but seeing as my freezer really can’t accommodate that right now, I had to think outside the baked good box. So here you have it: blueberry vinaigrette!
This tangy blueberry vinaigrette is the perfect match for chicken – I bet it could actually double nicely as a sauce for grilled chicken – and it puts a fresh, summery spin on a simple salad. The corn and basil also contribute to the salad’s light and refreshing taste. I’ve always loved pairing walnuts and sweet corn in salads – if you’ve never tried putting the two together before, you’ve been missing out! I added the basil as an afterthought (the plant on my windowsill caught my eye just before I started taking photos), and I’m so glad I did. I didn’t put in a lot, so the flavor is fairly subtle, but it adds tiny bursts of spicy sweetness. Another great thing about this salad? It comes together super quickly, so you can have lunch or dinner on the table in under 20 minutes!
- 1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon spicy mustard (Dijon is fine)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces chicken tenders
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 5-6 ounces romaine, chopped
- 2/3 cup corn
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 3-4 basil leaves, sliced thin
- Place the blueberries, honey, vinegars, and mustard in the bowl of a food processor (or blender). Process until smooth. Add the olive oil and pulse until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Place the chicken tenders in the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, until the meat is no longer pink inside. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Combine chicken, romaine, corn, walnuts, and basil. Drizzle with blueberry vinaigrette just before serving.
- Serves 2 for a main dish, 6 for a side dish
- If you’re using fresh (rather than frozen) blueberries, I recommend also sprinkling a few extra in the salad itself.
Beautiful photos!!! and no need to say, but.. the salad is yummy! 😉
Heather @ Sweet Precision says
I love your beautiful photos! The salad looks absolutely scrumptious 🙂 It’s been years since I’ve picked my own fruit but I remember picking strawberries with mom and grandma each summer when I was younger. You’ll have enough blueberries to last through the winter now!
Thank you! I’ve heard picking strawberries is hard work, but I’m sure the berries were yummy!
June Baby says
That looks delicious! I love simple summer salads like this 🙂
Me too! I love putting fruit and/or fruity dressing in salads.
Ngan R. says
Gorgeous photos and seven pounds of blueberries! I would be in heaven. The salad looks fantastic.
A good dose of perspective! Having a freezer full of fruit is far from the worst thing that could happen 🙂
HomeSweetJones (@HomeSweetJones) says
I’ve always wanted to visit a pick-your-own fruit orchard. I need to find one here in the LA area.
On a separate note, I love all your fruity chicken recipes! I’m still drooling over the cherry chicken poppyseed salad. I’m looking forward to lots more yummy blueberry recipes!
Thanks! I’ve got a few more blueberry recipes up my sleeve 🙂 I never picked fruit when I was living in LA, but here’s a website I’ve used recently to help find nearby pick-your-own fruit locations: http://www.pickyourown.org/CAla.htm
My goodness, doesn’t this look delicious:))
Can’t wait to make it!
Thanks! It’s really simple to make 🙂
Erin | The Law Student's Wife says
I go nuts every year at the orchards too! I just can’t help myself, they all look so beautiful and so yummy. What a great way to use extra cherries!
Glad to know it’s not just me!
That vinaigrette sounds like the perfect way to cram even more blueberries into my mouth! Not that that presents too much of a problem… 🙂
Thanks! I always default to baked goods when it comes to using up lots of fruit, so it’s good for me to branch out 🙂
I have wanted to pick my own fruit all summer but haven’t been able to make it happen! I’m totally jealous 🙂
This blueberry vinaigrette sounds perfect!
Thanks! I hope you get a chance to – it’s such a fun experience (and with tasty results, too!).
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
yum! this salad looks delicious.. and that blueberry vinaigrette sounds amazing. definitely need to recreate the recipe!
Thanks! I love making homemade salad dressings, and this one’s a keeper for sure.
Wow! This salad looks so delicious. Stunning photography. you have a wonderful blog. You might like my lavender and lemon shortbread recipe. Take care. Emma.
Aw, thank you so much for your kind words! I’ll be sure to check out the shortbread recipe 🙂
Jen @ Baked by an Introvert says
I could eat that vinaigrette by the spoonful! I’m loving your site. Your photos are beautiful.
Thank you so much! I hope you get a chance to try the vinaigrette 🙂
I LOVE pick my own orchards as well! We have an apple one near where I live, and during the season we’re always overflowing with apples 🙂 I use if for smoothies, make applesauce, and dehydrate them! Beautiful shots xx
Thank you! Picking apples sounds fun – I’ll have to find a place to do that this fall 🙂
chef mimi says
Why have I never put blueberries in a salad??? I thought I’d thrown just about everything in salads. I will have to rectify this asap. Thanks for the inspiration!
You’re very welcome – this was the first time I’d used blueberries in a salad, too!
What a delicious fruity salad dressing, I love all the components in it, pinned!
Thanks! I hope you get a chance to try it 🙂
This looks fantastic! Oh how I miss blueberry picking! (Although not quite as much as blueberry-eating!)
Thanks! I’m guessing blueberries aren’t so common in Italy, then? I wish I could trade you some blueberries for some fresh Italian tomatoes and mozzarella 🙂
I have only seen blueberries once since I got here. They were about $6 for less than a pint-sized container. 🙁 And not very fresh. Definitely not Michigan-quality blueberries. The tomatoes and mozzarella are to die for though, so it’s okay.