A heavenly summer salad of cool crisp greens, sweet berries, crunchy pecans, plus a little goat cheese and Parmesan, finished with spoonfuls of strawberry Balsamic vinaigrette. My summer berry salad is inspired by the house salad at a local restaurant we enjoy. Make one before summer slips away.
Summer Berry Salad
We don’t eat out often, but occasionally it’s good to get out of the house, relax and leave the cooking to someone else. Hanna’s, is our favorite local restaurant. It’s always busy, serves up great food and service too. Kent usually orders a steak and I get the fresh wild catch of the day. Dinner always starts with their house salad, and it’s the inspiration for this recipe. I love this salad, so I decided to make it at home.
What’s not to love about fresh summer berries at their peak? Sweet, low in natural sugar, healthy, and packed with nutrition. Make this salad while berries are at their best and at the best prices. I use strawberries and raspberries for this salad, but you could add some blackberries too. Another fruity add in is kiwi. Just a little sweet-tart taste to add some interest.
Wash and Go Greens
Red leaf lettuce works great for this salad. The leaves are sturdy enough to handle the creamy vinaigrette, and darker leaves means more nutrition. I buy whole heads and wash them when I get home from shopping to get get them ready for the week.
Sometimes its easier to grab a container of pre-washed salads greens like spring mix or mesclun mix. That is fine if you are going to use them quickly. Otherwise they often get wilted or slimy and you end up tossing them.
To wash greens and make them last I use Eat Cleaner produce wash. Eat Cleaner is way more effective than water for cleaning produce, leaves no odor or residue on food, and makes produce last longer. It’s all natural! Really, I use this stuff daily and have for years. You’ve got to add it to your kitchen.
On Cheese And Nuts
The tang of goat cheese and the saltiness of grated Parmesan add a lot to the salad. If you are dairy-free, skip it but try adding a little dairy-free cheese sprinkle to make up for the cheese. Find the recipe at this link here.
For the pecans, use either raw whole or glazed. Homemade glazed are easy to make and keep in the pantry for adding to salads or crumbling over veggies. Find my recipe for maple glazed pecans here.
And That Vinaigrette?
Oh yeah and oh yum. This dressing is so good, creamy, tasty, and lasts five days in the fridge. You will have extra for more salads! Or it might be good with potato salad. May have to try that.
Tribest Personal Glass Blender
What to whip the vinaigrette up in? The TribestLife Glass Personal Blender. My sweet friend, famous raw vegan chef, Jenny Ross, gifted me with one of these cool new blenders. I was tickled to death. A new kitchen toy! It comes with a glass handled 24-ounce smoothie container, plus 8-ounce and 16-ounce glass containers to whip up all kinds of other delights. I made the vinaigrette in the 8 ounce glass container and capped it with a lid that comes with the set. They even include two tumbler lids.
Summer Berry Salad
Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
- 4 whole strawberries quartered
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped shallot
- 2 pinches sea salt
- 2 pinches ground black pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons water if needed to thin vinaigrette
- 1 large head of red lettuce
- 12-16 fresh strawberries
- 1 small container fresh raspberries
- 1 kiwi
- 4 ounces goat cheese crumbled
- 3 ounces whole pecans glazed or raw
- 3-4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Start by making the vinaigrette. Place all ingredient in a blender and blend until smooth. Add water if needed to thin to desired consistency. The recipe makes extra dressing.
- Wash salad greens and dry in a salad spinner or on layers of paper towels. Wash strawberries and dry, then quarter. Wash raspberries if you choose. Sometimes I don't as they are so fragile. Peel the kiwi with a vegetable peeler, then chop into small pieces. Crumble goat cheese
- To assemble salad, divide greens, berries, kiwi and goat cheese between four plates. Add pecans. Drizzle each salad with 1-2 tablespoons of vinaigrette and sprinkle with Parmesan.