Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Summer Berry Salad

Joey had a meeting on Tuesday night, so I was on my own for dinner. Whenever this happens I either eat leftovers or make something that I know he won't care for. I took the opportunity to make a nice light salad using berries, blue cheese, and pistachios. I grilled some chicken to slice over the salad, mixed up a quick vinaigrette, and called it a day.

My mother-in-law always says I make good salads, but they are usually all just different variations on the same salad. They always have all the same components... so now I will share my secret (which I'm sure most of you already do; I'm really not very inventive)

1. Dark, leafy greens (spinach, arugula, spring mix, romaine, etc)
2. Sweet - fruit - either fresh or dried (pears, berries, figs, apples...)
3. crunch - any sort of nut - pistachios, toasted almonds, pine nuts, pecans, walnuts
4. cheese - feta and blue cheese are my favorites
5 . crunchy veggie - cucumber, bell pepper, carrots, onion
6. viniagrette that reiterates one of the flavors - I usually do a fruit based or cheese

So there you have it, how to make a perfect salad, every time. I also like to add a legume to the salad as well - either chickpeas, black beans, northern beans, etc. Honestly I don't see how you can mess up a salad - be creative, have fun, and enjoy!

Summer Berry Spinach Salad
  • 2 cups baby spinach, stems removed
  • 1/3 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, shelled
For the dressing (this makes more than you need for a single serving entree salad - enough for 2 big salads, or at least 4 small)
  • 1/2 shallot, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons seedless raspberry preserves
  • 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
Process ingredients in food processor or blender until smooth

Assemble ingredients and drizzle with dressing. Top with grilled chicken, salmon, or pork if desired.


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