Monday, May 19, 2014

#SaveTheBiscuit: Berry Salad w/Poppy Seed Dressing & Buttermilk Biscuit Croutons

You know what they say - When life gives you left-over buttermilk biscuits, make croutons!

Wait a minute, I think I got that a little bit wrong.  ;)

But seriously, where have buttermilk biscuit croutons BEEN all my life?!?  They are insanely delicious right out of the oven, and equally amazing after they've cooled and hardened a bit.  I came across the idea in the May 2014 issue of Southern Living magazine, and wondered, "Why haven't I thought of this before?"

This is a wonderfully fresh take on the classic buttermilk biscuit and is the perfect way to use up extra biscuits that you might have on-hand.  Because we all know, it would simply be a crying shame to waste something as mouth-watering as a homemade biscuit!

I paired these croutons with a flavor-packed salad that will be one of your favorites this summer.  It's filled with fresh strawberries, blueberries, toasted walnuts, goat cheese, red onion, chicken, biscuit croutons, and sunflower kernels.  A drizzle of a sweet and tangy poppy seed dressing pulls it all together.  

Another thing that made this salad so spectacular is the fresh greens that were grown by my incredible in-laws.  They are the best and have made me feel like a part of their family since the first day we met.  I sure do love them and feel so lucky to have them in my life. 

This year, they planted a bountiful garden that includes sugar snap peas, assorted salad greens, strawberries, carrots, swiss chard, tomatoes, radishes, and cilantro.  They also have a number of fruit trees/bushes - fig, blueberry, peach, cherry, and raspberry.  I might even be leaving a few things off.  Needless to say, it's so much fun venturing over to their house to sample the latest offerings of the garden.  

The greens really made this salad.  There's nothing better than picking your own produce and eating it right away.   All those bagged salad greens at the grocery store really pale in comparison.  I've included a few photos of the garden below.

This is the fourth installment in my #SaveTheBiscuit series with the great folks at White Lily flour.  You can see my other White Lily posts here:

Just Peachy Shortcake with Toasted Pecans & Maple Drizzle
Caramel Pecan Biscuit Bake
A Buttermilk Biscuit Tutorial

Bon Appetit, my friends!

My awesome in-laws, Travis and Carol, with my little niece, Amber.  Love them!
Gorgeous salad greens growing in their garden.
Swiss Chard...Mmm...

Fresh greens, right after a light rain.
A cute little sugar snap pea.

Berry Salad w/Poppy Seed Dressing & Buttermilk Biscuit Croutons

For the salad:
4-5 large handfuls of your favorite salad greens
1 lb. strawberries, sliced
1 cup blueberries
1 cup toasted walnuts
1/3 cup sunflower kernels
1/2 red onion, minced
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1 rotisserie chicken

For the Croutons:
(Adapted from Southern Living magazine, May 2014)
3-4 buttermilk biscuits, cooled
Salt & pepper, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil 

For the Dressing:
(Adapted from:  Taste of Home)
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds 

Follow THIS RECIPE to make the buttermilk biscuits.

Let biscuits cool completely and then slice into small, crouton-sized cubes.  Place biscuit pieces on a silicon-lined baking sheet in a single layer.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.   Place in a 400 degree F oven for 10 minutes, or until crisp and lightly toasted.

Meanwhile, remove chicken from the bone and cut or shred into bite-sized pieces.  Set aside.

Place the salad greens into a large bowl.  Add the strawberries, blueberries, toasted walnuts, sunflower kernels, red onion, crumbled goat cheese and chicken.  Gently toss to combine all ingredients.

Divide salad onto individual serving plates and lightly dress with the desired amount of vinaigrette, reserving extra for later use.

To make the dressing:
In a blender, combine the first six ingredients; cover and process until blended. While processing, gradually add oil in a steady stream. Stir in poppy seeds. Chill until serving.  Yield: 1 cup.

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