Cherries just scream summer, yeah? Summer is also synonymous with salads, not just for the swimsuit factor, but the produce! My oh my how I miss California's farmers' markets! Absolute heaven! I love sustaining local growers and knowing where my produce comes from. My favorite famers' market picks are peaches, strawberries, tomatoes, and cherries. That, and honeycrisp apples, mini pumpkin doughnuts, and croissants during the fall on the east coast. Swoon.
Cherries are so lovely.
Cooking cherries brings out an entirely different flavor. It's so wonderful and rich, you just want to savor it. I cooked the cherries for the cherry balsamic dressing, but you can also cook them to garnish. I left my cherries uncooked to garnish for the texture, but try it both ways! Get creative! PS I'm loving this balsamic glaze reduction I got from Trader Joe's. It was perfect for this dressing flavor-wise and thickened it up perfectly. I plan on drizzling it over tomatoes and mozzarella real soon...
Salty, crunchy pistachios, creamy, tart goat cheese, strong, flavorful red onions, cool, creamy avocado, and crispy and juicy cherries seriously make this salad a winner. Such a refreshing change from the norm.
Give your local cherries a try!
Chicken Salad with Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1 pint cherries pitted
- 3 Tablespoon EVOO divided
- 3 Tablespoon balsamic glaze
- 3 Tablespoon sugar
- ¼ Tablespoon salt
- 1-2 chicken breasts
- spring salad mix
- ¼ red onion thinly sliced
- 1 avocado
- handful pistachios shelled
- handful crumbled goat cheese
- Prepare dressing by heating 1 T of the EVOO in sauté pan over medium heat. Cook ½ c of the cherries until soft. Remove cherries from pan with slotted spoon and place into blender or food processor. Add remaining 2 T EVOO, balsamic glaze, sugar, and salt. Blend until smooth. Place in refrigerator to chill.
- Season both sides of chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Cook chicken breasts over medium heat in same sauté pan as cherries, using remaining oil from pan. Cook about 5-7 minutes, or until almost done. Remove from heat and cover with lid. Let rest.
- Assemble salad with remaining toppings over salad mix. Thinly slice chicken into strips. Top with dressing.