This healthy salad is made with almonds, fresh berries, and a splash of tangy blueberry vinaigrette. It’s the perfect berry salad for a light lunch or side dish.
And this salad is all about the berries. Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
I’ve mentioned before in my gorgonzola pear salad recipe that I haven’t always had the best idea of what a salad could be. It would conjure up images of sad greens with no toppings and flavorless dressing.
Not so here! With the perfect balance of sweet and savory, this salad will leave you feeling like you just had a big bowl of yummy goodness.
This salad was inspired by my wife’s love of the Nuts About Berries Salad at Cafe Zupas. However, I chose to make a blueberry vinaigrette instead of the poppyseed dressing that they pair with their berry salad. The dressing packs a nice punch of flavor, but it’s even a delicious berry salad without the blueberry vinegarette.
Hopefully, you enjoy this recipe as much as my wife and I do.
Making the Blueberry Vinaigrette
I typically start off by making the dressing. Then I can set it aside in the fridge and all it may need is a quick shake for it to be ready to serve when the rest of the salad is ready. Plus, it can give all those dressing ingredients a bit of time to mix flavors.
The best part about most salad dressings is the fact that you can usually just toss all the ingredients into a blender. You can also shake or whisk it together as well.
Vinegar and lemon juice add acidity to the dressing. The honey and blueberries lend both sweetness and flavor. Olive oil helps provide body and a base for the rest of the dressing. A bit of salt and pepper are good finishing touches.
In this case, I used red wine vinegar for the blueberry vinaigrette. The flavor of the red wine vinegar really brings out the best in the blueberries.
As I said above, I like to make my dressing a few hours before I plan to serve the salad but it’s totally up to you. It can be made right before serving as well.
Making the Berry Salad
This salad is just the kind of thing that you can make for a casual lunch or side salad. It’s light but still packed with healthy and filling ingredients. You can also make substitutions to use whatever ingredients you have on hand (more on that in the next section…). And it only takes about 10 minutes to fully put together.
Salads are all about fresh ingredients. So, it’s important to use the freshest ingredients possible when making this. The crisp, crunch, and flavor of fresh berries and greens are so delightful.
Making the salad itself is quite easy.
First, make sure to wash all of the salad greens and berries. Then add all of the salad greens to a large bowl. Cut the strawberries into slices. Now add all of the berries on top of the greens. Top it with almonds and cheese. Then toss everything together and drizzle the blueberry vinaigrette on top.
It comes together quickly and you really just need to add all of the ingredients to a large bowl. Though you may want to reserve the dressing for diners to drizzle to their own liking.
What to Put In a Berry Salad?
First, I’d recommend trying out the recipe as listed below. This includes strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries as the fruit. For toppings, I include mozzarella cheese and candied sliced almonds. Then drizzle the blueberry vinaigrette on top.
But I am definitely in favor of mixing things up with a recipe and trying out different combinations. Plus, sometimes you don’t have everything on hand for a recipe and you need to make some substitutions. Here are some of my thoughts:
Nuts – I use some homemade cinnamon candied sliced almonds for this salad. Pecans and walnuts could be great subsitutions for the almonds. And you don’t necessarily need to use candied nuts, I just think it lends a nice crunch and sweetness to the berry salad. The real purpose of including nuts in the salad is for the texture and crunch.
Cheese – I use some thick-shredded mozzarella for its creamy texture. But changing up the cheese is probably one of the easiest ways to mix up the flavor of the salad. Try goat cheese or gorgonzola for a powerful tangy punch. Use feta for a salty, creamy addition.
Fruit – I obviously think that this salad should have some berries – it is a berry salad after all. But if you want to sub out one type of berry or even just add to it, there are options. Try crisp apples or pears, sweet grapes, or even sliced kiwi as an addition to the berries in this salad.
Dressing – The restaurant salad that this recipe was inspired by uses a poppyseed dressing. So you can give that a try. My wife might even prefer that as a dressing, because she really likes poppyseeds. Any other lightly sweetened vinaigrette should also work with this salad. Or try using strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries for the dressing instead of blueberries.
If you’re looking for something different this summer, try out this fresh berry salad with all of the summer berries. It’s so delicious and easy to make!
How did yours turn out?
I’d love to hear when you try out this almond and berry salad! Take a pic of your food and share your success with me by adding it to your Instagram stories or feed, and tagging me @doyouroux, or by using #doyouroux.
Plus, leave a rating to let me know how you liked the recipe. It helps me out a lot to know how things worked out… or didn’t.
Almond and Berry Salad with Blueberry VinaigretteCourse: SaladsDifficulty: Easy
This almond and berry salad is loaded with berries and paired with a delicious blueberry vinaigrette for a fresh, tangy, sweet flavor
- Blueberry Vinaigrette
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon (optional)
- Berry Salad
2 cups strawberries
8 cups baby red butter lettuce greens
1 cup blueberries
1 cup blackberries
1 cup raspberries
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup cinnamon candied sliced almonds
1 cup prepared blueberry vinaigrette
- Blueberry Vinaigrette
- Add all vinaigrette ingredients to a blender or food processor
- Pulse for 15 to 30 seconds until the dressing is fully combined
- Refrigerate the vinaigrette until ready to use
- Berry Salad
- Cut the strawberries into thin slices
- Add the greens to a large bowl and top them with the strawberry slices, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, mozzarella, and candied almonds
- Toss the salad together
- Serve the salad and top each serving with the blueberry vinaigrette
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