Salad with Berries, Grilled Lemon Chicken, Feta and Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing

March 30, 2013

A hearty fruit filled salad topped with bright lemon chicken and finished with a sweet and creamy poppy seed dressing.

salad with berries, grilled lemon chicken and feta

Today was like Christmas for me! I opened my patio door and walked out to a temperature that was most definitely perfectly acceptable for grilling. Yes, grilling season has arrived and I couldn’t be more ready for it!

I love the flavor of grilled chicken. I love the flavor of basically grilled anything for that matter. Its a flavor that can’t be imitated from baking or pan searing.

I did debate with this recipe whether to do a baked crispy panko crusted lemon chicken or a grilled lemon chicken. I’m glad I went with a grilled version. It is perfect with this salad and grilling the chicken is a savory and simple flavor enhancer.

I also decided to toss in one of my latest favorites in cheese, Feta. It pairs amazingly well with the tartness of the blackberries and sweetness of the strawberries, and it enhances the slight tang of the lemon chicken.

I also thought a salad this delicious wouldn’t do with a store bought dressing so I created a simple homemade version. It is unbelievably easy and if you want to shave off the step of grating the onion you could simply replace it with a 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of onion powder. Enjoy!

salad with berries, lemon chicken, feta, poppy seed dressing

Berry, Lemon Chicken and Feta Salad

A hearty fruit filled salad topped with bright lemon chicken and finished with a sweet and creamy poppy seed dressing.
Servings: 4
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (11 oz) pkg Spring Mix Salad Blend (I used Dole)
  • 1 lb strawberries , sliced
  • 11 oz black berries
  • 8 oz Feta cheese , crumbled
  • 2 oz Parmesan cheese , finely shredded
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • finely grated lemon zest , for topping (optional)
  • poppy seed dressing , recipe follows

Grilled Lemon Chicken

  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic , finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. To assemble salads:
  2. Layer salad blend onto serving plates. Divide strawberries, blackberries, almonds, Feta and Parmesan cheese over salad. Top with grilled lemon chicken, sprinkle with lemon zest if desired. Drizzle top with poppy seed dressing. Serve immediately.
  3. For the grilled lemon chicken:
  4. Place chicken in a large resealable bag and pound thicker portions of chicken to an even thickness using the flat side of a meat mallet. In a mixing bowl whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour mixture over chicken in resealable bag, seal bag while pressing out as much excess air as possible. Move chicken around as needed to evenly distribute marinade and allow chicken to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  5. Preheat a grill to moderately high heat. Brush grill grates lightly with oil and transfer chicken to grill (if you notice lemon zest and garlic sticking to one portion of the chicken more than another just brush it along the chicken to evenly distribute). Grill 6 - 8 minutes then rotate chicken to opposite side and grill until internal temperature of chicken registers 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer (total grill time will vary based on thickness of chicken breasts, so just be sure to check the temp for doneness). Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes, then slice into strips about 1/2-inch thick.
  6. Recipe Source: Cooking Classy
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Salad Recipe
Author: Jaclyn
Poppy Seed Dressing

Ingredients
3/4 cup mayonnaise
5 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp finely grated onion
1/2 tsp prepared mustard
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp poppy seeds

Instructions
In a mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sugar, apple cider vinegar, grated onion, mustard and salt until sugar has nearly dissolved (at this point you can transfer to a blender to mince onion pieces further if desired). Stir in poppy seeds. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and stir (if you would like dressing to have a thinner consistency you can mix in a little milk 1 tsp at a time to thin). Store dressing in refrigerator.