When it comes to berries, blackberries are my all time favorite. I always look forward devouring them during the hot summer months. So when my local farmer’s market started bringing in blackberries, I pounced on the first bunch I saw. They hadn’t quite hit their deepest purple stage and were still a little pink, but I didn’t care. Blackberries make the world better.
As I brainstormed how to curb the sharp tang of these early berries, I remembered that I had been looking at a lot of berry vinaigrette recipes recently, and wanted to give it a go. And after combining and modifying a few recipes, I think I hit the jackpot. I’ve been eating salad almost every day (sometimes twice in a day) for a week and a half! I emphasize this because I’m not a salad person. Correction: I’m not a homemade salad person. Weird as it sounds, I am not as gung-ho about eating salad if I have to make it myself. So when I get 1. a dressing I fall in love with and 2. a combo of salad ingredients I’m willing to eat regularly, we’re in business! AND when I served my salad and vinaigrette with dinner for Brandon this weekend, he loved it too! It’s a win-win situation.
My salad combination includes a hearty helping of baby spring mix, crumbled goat cheese, chopped pecans, some fresh blackberries, and of course the delicious vinaigrette. The combo is also sweetened by the fact that Kroger has been running a special on their organic baby spring mix for the summer, meaning I can get lots of tasty lettuce for 2 bucks less than usual! Hooray!
And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, there’s more! Having a salad I enjoy has made it so much easier for me to stick to eating right and exercising. And when I can come home from a long day of preschool and pull out my workout DVDs and not snack myself silly while watching Netflix, you know it’s a pretty life changing salad!
I love this so much I am literally eating it as I take my lunch break and type this blog entry. It’s. That. Good!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pint fresh blackberries
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint
a dash of ground fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
In a skillet, heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add in minced shallots and garlic, stirring for 1 minute. Add the blackberries and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in white and regular balsamic vinegar and stir in, cooking for less than a minute. Transfer to a blender, adding in honey, mint, and fennel seeds. Pulse until smooth. Add in salt and pepper. Gradually add in 1/2 cup olive oil, pulsing until smooth.
Pour vinaigrette through a fine-mesh sieve into desired container and refrigerate until completely cool (at least 1 hour). Keep refrigerated between uses.