Sunday, July 7, 2013

Blackberry Cucumber Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

When blackberries are in season, I try to incorporate them into my diet as much as possible. Originally I intended to make this salad with raspberries but when the grocery store came up dry, I chose blackberries. Turns out blackberries provided a much more flavorful punch for this delicate salad and added little bursts of juicy berry in each bite.

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Baby spinach, English cucumbers, agave glazed walnuts and tart blackberries serve as a perfect summer salad for lunch or a light dinner. Definitely don't skip out on the lime dressing, it brings all the flavors together and adds just the right amount of tang to each bite.

Blackberry Cucumber Salad
serves 3
6 handfuls of baby spinach
2 cups fresh blackberries
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
1 cup sweet walnuts
10 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
 sea salt

Toss the spinach leaves with a bit of dressing and divide among three bowls. Top with blackberries, cucumbers, walnuts, mint and a drizzle of lime vinaigrette. Finish with just a light pinch of sea salt and serve.

sweet walnuts:
1 tsp coconut or canola oil
1 cup roughly chopped raw walnuts
2 tsp agave nectar
pinch of sea salt

Over medium heat, combine the oil and walnuts in a saute pan and begin to toast. After 2 minutes, drizzle in the agave and salt and toss. Cook 2-3 more minutes, tossing every 30 seconds so the nuts don't burn. Once they are nice and toasty, set aside.

Lime Vinaigrette
1/4 cup canola oil
juice from 1 1/2 limes (around 3 tbl)
1 tbl agave nectar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp lime zest
pinch of sea salt

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend for 2-3 minutes to allow the dressing to come together and become thick and creamy. Taste and season with a touch of agave if the dressing is too tart or a pinch of salt if it is too sweet.

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